The Earth System

Learn how climate and climate change are driven by interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere, the two key components of the Earth system.  Discuss global energy balance, atmospheric circulation, surface winds and ocean circulation, deep-sea thermohaline circulation, Holocene climate, the El Niño Southern Oscillation, projections of future atmospheric CO2 and other greenhouse-gas concentrations, and the effects of climate change on marine environments. Create, analyze, and present predictions using the latest atmosphere-ocean coupled general circulation models (CMIP) to assess potential effects of climate change on ocean-atmosphere systems. Explore past global changes and those anticipated in the future due to anthropogenic carbon releases, based upon IPCC future climate change scenarios and past climate records.  Develop tools to describe the influence of climate change on ocean environments quantitatively, and to consider potential outcomes for marine ecosystems on which students' own research is focused.

Prerequisites or Prior Knowledge

B28 Elementary Differential Equations and Boundary Problems and/or A104 Vector and Tensor Calculus