The composition, structure, and dynamics of the atmosphere; weather, climate, and biogeographic patterns; microclimatology; paleoclimates, paleogeography, and extinctions; human effect on air quality; climate change. (3h lab)
Instructor: Robert Raeside
Prerequisites: Second Year Standing.
Course Type: Online; Continuous-intake. Register anytime and learn at your own pace
Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. How often have you heard people blaming the vagaries of the weather on the modern buzzwords, 'global warming' or 'climate change'? In this course on Atmosphere, Weather and Climate you will learn of the significance of the thin veil of gas that supports life on Earth and what makes it function to bring us the daily weather. You will also learn how conditions on Earth have changed through the ages, and what is the threat posed by climate change. The course has been designed for students with an interest in their environment. Initially you will be required to watch the weather to describe what is happening, but by the end I anticipate you will follow the daily developments on your own, and understand the processes that have led to them. I will be placing particular emphasis on how the atmosphere works, to give an understanding of weather phenomena and global climates; on the origin and the evolution of the atmosphere; on the relationships between climate, biogeography and the evolution of life and the atmosphere; and on paleoclimatology, the study of ancient climate patterns. Although much of this course concerns itself with atmospheric chemistry and physics, you should have a basic understanding of the principles of geology and the accounting of geologic time before you start the course.