ATMS 223

Physical Climatology (3 credit hours)

Energy Balance
Strong warming in recent decades suggests that the Earth is not in energy balance.

This course examines the Earth's climate system from a physical perspective. It is required for students enrolled in the climate concentration of the ATMS major. Class sizes are generally small (5-10 students). Course material is delivered primarily in lecture format. Students design and execute a climate modeling project using EdGCM as a capstone project.

The course is organized into components of the Earth system. The radiation balance is covered extensively in the first 1/3 of the course. We also examine the physics of the cryosphere (ice), ocean, atmosphere, land processes, and feedbacks between them. Paleoclimatology and climate modeling conclude this action packed course. Students also learn about interesting events and ideas in climatology, including the Gaia hypothesis and the snowball Earth theory.

North Carolina's Public Liberal Arts University