The Atmosphere, the Ocean, and Environmental Change

Open Yale


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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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Where and when

Starts Location

What you'll learn on the course

Retaining an Atmosphere
Perfect Gas Law
Hydrostatic Balance
Horizontal Transport
Convective Storms

Course programme

Lecture 1 Introduction to Atmospheres

Lecture 2 Retaining an Atmosphere

Lecture 3 The Perfect Gas Law

Lecture 4 Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere; Residence Time

Lecture 5 Earth Systems Analysis (Tank Experiment)

Lecture 6 Greenhouse Effect, Habitability

Lecture 7 Hydrostatic Balance

Lecture 8 Horizontal Transport

Lecture 9 Water in the Atmosphere I

Lecture 10 Water in the Atmosphere II

Exam 1 Exam 1

Lecture 11 Clouds and Precipitation (Cloud Chamber Experiment)

Lecture 12 Circulation of the Atmosphere (Exam I review)

Lecture 13 Global Climate and the Coriolis Force

Lecture 14 Coriolis Force and Storms

Lecture 15 Convective Storms

Lecture 16 Frontal Cyclones

Lecture 17 Seasons and ClimateLabQuinnipiac River Field Trip

Lecture 18 Seasons and Climate Classification

Exam 2 Exam 2

Lecture 19 Ocean Bathymetry and Water Properties

Lecture 20 Ocean Water Density and Atmospheric Forcing

Lecture 21 Ocean Currents

Lecture 22 Ocean Currents and Productivity

Lecture 23 El Niño

Lecture 24 Ice in the Climate System

Lecture 25 Ice and Climate Change

Lecture 26 Isotope Evidence for Climate Change

Lecture 27 Global Warming

Lecture 28 Global Warming II

Exam 3 Exam 3

Lecture 29 Global Warming III

Lecture 30 Climate Sensitivity and Human Population

Lecture 31 The Two Ozone Problems

Lecture 32 The Ozone Layer

Lecture 33 Energy Resources, Renewable Energy

Lecture 34 Renewable Energy

Lecture 35 Review and Overview

Final Exam Final Exam