Adv. Topics in Applied Math: Climate Modeling (G63.2840)

Spring 2010: Tuesdays 9:30-11:20, Warren Weaver Hall 517

Course Flyer

Course Syllabus

The Models
(deserve their own page!)
Links and Lectures
  • Part I: Energy Balance Models and the Big Picture

    • 1/19: Introduction and some history (slides for Lecture 1) and a zeroth order energy balance model.

    • 1/26: Energy balance models II: the importance of the vertical structure of the atmosphere, and radiative transfer 101: computing the OLR. ( Supplementary figures.) Better yet, see Ray's Pierhumbert'soriginal lecture from the 2001 GFD summer school (pgs 72-87), from which my lecture was derived.

    • 2/2: Lecture 3 Energy blance models III: multiple equilibria plus and adding a dimension: latitude. (See also Ray Pierrhumberts lecture in last weeks link, pages 88-97.)
      The original papers on 1-D energy balance climate models: Sellers, J. Applied Meteorology, 1969 and Budyko, Tellus, 1969

  • Part II: The General Circulation and Large Scale Dynamics

An Abstract for the Course

image credit: UCAR

Course Description: The aim of this course is to explore the hierarchy of models used to investigate and understand the atmosphere-ocean-earth climate system. Our goal is to explore the range of models available for climate research, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of each class of models and developing a sense of which model(s) are most appropriate for answering different research questions. The course will be focused more on the atmosphere, but seek to incorporate key impacts of the oceans and land surface effects on climate. We'll begin with simple energy balance model of the earth system, and work our way up dynamical, atmosphere only models, and finally, in the end, discuss the coupled models used for climate prediction. We will investigate the importance of model numerics and resolution, parameterization schemes (radiation, convection, boundary layer, gravity waves, land use, etc.), and the topic of climate sensitivity. Students will be expected to read papers and material on the subject and complete a course project, where they will run and analyze the output of a climate model to investigate a research question.