Our Atmospheric Environment: Air Pollution, Ozone and Climate Change

$219 Limited inc GST / $197
Our Atmospheric Environment: Air Pollution, Ozone and Climate Change

<p>Air pollution, ozone depletion, and climate change are all consequences of the changing composition of our atmosphere, primarily as a result of human actions. In this course we will learn about the

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Air pollution, ozone depletion, and climate change are all consequences of the changing composition of our atmosphere, primarily as a result of human actions. In this course we will learn about the basic science which governs our atmosphere, its weather and climate, as well as the many complex interactions which can amplify climate change. The physics of radiation also underpins how satellites are used to provide invaluable data for both weather forecasting and climate studies. Finally we will look at the projections for climate in the 21st century.


COURSE OUTLINE

  • General Overview of the Atmosphere: vertical profile, layering, the gas laws, vertical stability, water vapour, latent heat, cloud formation processes.
  • Composition and Chemistry: major and minor gases, sources and sinks of key greenhouse gases, aerosol particles, air pollution, ozone formation and loss.
  • Weather and Climate: wind drivers, general circulation of the atmosphere, ocean circulation and modes of variability, ENSO, feedbacks in the climate system.
  • Atmospheric Radiation: Physics of electromagnetic radiation, radiation budget, greenhouse effect and gases, satellite observation of the atmosphere.
  • Climate Change: changing GHG concentrations, recent change in temperature, sea level rise, ecological impacts, climate history – glacial-interglacial cycle.
  • Climate Modelling: evolution of climate models, understanding 20th century climate, projections for the 21st century, policy/technical options.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the vertical variability of our atmosphere.
  2. Discuss the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  3. Describe the Earth’s energy budget, including thermal radiation.
  4. Describe the greenhouse effect, and the gases which cause it.
  5. Discuss the nature of feedback processes in the climate system.
  6. Describe the nature of a climate model, and the results they produce.