ATMS 473 / CCS 560

Fundamentals of Climate Change Science (3 credit hours)

Moulin
Moulins are channels that funnel surface glacial meltwater into its interior. If the water reaches the bottom, it may help lubricate the glacier and increase its march to the sea.

Climate is commonly called the "synthesis of weather". We are fortunate to have lived in a very stable climate the last few thousands of years as we have emerged from the last glaical maximum. However, paleoclimatic evidence clearly supports theories that our climate has undergone abrupt and dramatic changes many times in the past. These swings have occurred naturally, forced by changes in the earth's orbit, volcanic and biological activity, and even tectonic plate movements. Scientists now have overwhelming evidence that we have entered a new climate regime, one that is changing faster than any observed over at least the last 700,000 years and that cannot be explained by natural forcings alone.

This course serves as an upper-level undergraduate elective for atmospheric science majors and a graduate level introduction to climate change science for all students in the Masters of Liberal Arts and Sciences (MLAS) program at UNC Asheville. Students will learn about the parts of the climate system, how they interact with one another, and why many of them are undergoing rapid changes, all from a physical and dynamical perspective. Although a meteorology background is not required, students are expected to have had and be comfortable with college-level algebra, college physics, and scientific problem solving.

North Carolina's Public Liberal Arts University