Dynamics of Climate Variability and Climate Change

GR5400 Dynamics of Climate Variability and Climate Change

This course provides a physical understanding of Earth’s climate system, building on basic physics and connecting to notable climate events that impact society.

Credit hours: 3

Semester: Fall

Instructors: Lisa Goddard and Kate Marvel

Course Objective:

This course provides an understanding of the physical workings of the climate system, and it underpins the goals of the rest of the program. Building on that, students learn through lectures, readings, discussions and exercises, how to interpret climate information like forecasts and observational maps. We will cover the physical and methodological basis of forecasts – from weather to climate change – as well as their uncertainties. Students are encouraged to critically assess the suitability of different types of climate information to answer questions of societal interest in discussion and within a group project. Given that climate variability acts on a number of time and space scales, which may be further influenced by man-made climate change, we will also address how these aspects of the climate are realized, forecast, interpreted. Solid understanding of the physical system and appropriate usage of climate-related terminology will be emphasized throughout the course.

Skills Developed:

  • Physical understanding of the climate system
  • Forecast interpretation
  • Climate literacy
  • Initial basis to determine suitability of information to society
  • Communication of scientific material