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ENVI 209
Modern Climate Fall 2020
Division III
Cross-listed GEOS 309 / ENVI 209

Class Details

What will happen to the Earth’s climate in the next century? What is contributing to sea level rise? Is Arctic sea ice doomed? In this course we will study the components of the climate system (atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, biosphere and land surface) and the processes through which they interact. Greenhouse gas emission scenarios will form the basis for investigating how these systems might respond to human activity. This course will explore how heat and mass are moved around the atmosphere and ocean to demonstrate how the geographic patterns of climate change arise. We will also focus on climate feedback effects–like the albedo feedback associated with sea ice and glacier loss–and how these processes can accelerate climate change. In labs we will learn MATLAB to use process and full-scale climate models to investigate the behavior of these systems in response to increasing greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. This course is in the Oceans and Climate group for the Geosciences major.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory; Lectures will be held synchronously online. Labs will be remote and in small groups. Lab groups will each meet online for two 1-hour sessions each week, scheduled according to the needs of the class. In-person office hours available.
Limit: 30
Expected: 20
Class#: 2518
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 4 multi-week lab projects and several short quizzes
Prerequisites: Any of GEOS 100, GEOS 103, ENVI 102, GEOS 215, or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: GEOS and ENVI majors
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GEOS 309 Division III ENVI 209 Division III
QFR Notes: Labs consist of a series of numerical climate modeling projects, which require significant quantitative and logical reasoning.
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives
EVST Environmental Science
EVST Methods Courses
GEOS Group A Electives - Climate + Oceans

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