GEOS 215
Climate Changes Fall 2018
Division III
Cross-listed ENVI 215 / GEOS 215
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In recent years, there has been a growing public and scientific interest in the Earth’s climate and its variability. This interest reflects both concern over future climate changes resulting from anthropogenic increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases and growing recognition of the economic impact of “natural” climate variability (for example, El NiƱo events), especially in the developing world. Efforts to understand the Earth’s climate system and predict future climate changes require both study of parameters controlling present day climate and detailed studies of climate changes in the past. In this course, we will review the processes that control the Earth’s climate, like solar radiation, the greenhouse effect, ocean circulation, configuration of continents, and positive and negative feedbacks. At the same time, we will review the geological record of climate changes in the past, examining their causes. Laboratories and problem sets will emphasize developing problem solving skills as well as sampling and interpreting geological archives of climate change.
The Class: Format: lecture, three hours per week; one three-hour lab per week
Limit: 14
Expected: 14
Class#: 1634
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: evaluation will be based on lab exercises and problem sets (25%), three hour exams (50%), and a final project (25%) where students will collect, analyze, and interpret data
Prerequisites: 100-level course in GEOS, CHEM, or PHYS or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Geosciences majors
Distributions: Division III
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENVI 215 Division III GEOS 215 Division III
Attributes: ENVI Natural World Electives
EVST Environmental Science
EXPE Experiential Education Courses
MAST Interdepartmental Electives
SCST Related Courses

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