The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change

About the Course

This course explores the physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing mass and energy budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.

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Course Structure

This Yale College course, taught on campus three times per week for 50 minutes, was recorded for Open Yale Courses in Fall 2011.

Course Materials

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About Professor Ronald B. Smith

Ronald B. Smith is the Damon Wells Professor of Geology & Geophysics, and specializes in atmospheric dynamics and physics, regional climate, and remote sensing.  He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Princeton University and his PhD in geophysics from The Johns Hopkins University. He is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and received the Society’s Jule G. Charney Award in 2011.

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Syllabus

Professor

Ronald B. Smith, Damon Wells Professor of Geology & Geophysics

Description

This course explores the physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing mass and energy budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.

Texts

Ahrens, C. Donald. Essentials of Meteorology. Brooks Cole, 2004.

Requirements

Weekly reading assignments, eight problem sets give students experience with quantitative heat and mass budget analyses, five laboratory exercises, and four exams.

Grading

Problem sets: 30%
Three mid-term exams: 30%
Final Exam: 40%

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Course Books and Other Related Titles

Yale University Press offers a 10% discount on the books used in GG 140 that it publishes, as well as on other related titles. A portion of the proceeds from your purchases will be donated for the ongoing support and development of the Open Yale Courses program.

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