GEOS 275
Ocean and Climate Changes
Last Offered Spring 2024
Division III
This course is not offered in the current catalog

Class Details

Earth’s oceans are a central part of the global climate system, and changes to the oceans throughout Earths history were often accompanied by dramatic climate shifts. In this class we will discuss the interconnected nature of oceans and climate, evidence for ocean and climate changes in the geologic past, what is happening to the oceans today, and what may happen in the future due to human-induced climate change. We will use computer models to explore ocean circulation in three dimensions, examine societal case studies to appreciate how people rely on the oceans, and analyze articles from the scientific literature to learn about the origins of foundational oceanographic knowledge and modern advances. Using marine sediment records, we will synthesize paleoclimate data and reconstruct past changes in the ocean and climate system. Through these explorations you will learn about the influence of the oceans on the global carbon system over both short and long timescales, and how changes in ocean circulation have altered Earth’s energy balance. Using modern satellite data, we will investigate changes happening in the world’s oceans today and assess the mechanisms thought to be responsible. We will visit a dedicated ocean research facility to learn about the tools and techniques employed by oceanographers to answer questions about our changing oceans. And, with the aid of emissions scenarios and probabilistic models, we will explore future scenarios of climate change and evaluate how the oceans will be affected by, and will in turn influence, the changing climate system.
The Class: Format: lecture/laboratory
Limit: 24
Expected: 24
Class#: 3981
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 2 lectures per week, one 3 hour lab per week. Students should expect to spend about 7 additional hours per week out of class working on course-related reading/homework/studying/project preparation. Readings, podcasts, and/or videos before most lecture and some lab meetings. Short, check-in quizzes.
Prerequisites: one 100-level GEOS course
Enrollment Preferences: sophomores, and junior Geos majors
Distributions: Division III
Attributes: GEOS Group A Electives - Climate + Oceans

Class Grid

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