MATH-UA 228 Earth’s Atmosphere And Ocean: Fluid Dynamics And Climate

4 points. Offered in the spring.

Course Description

An introduction to the dynamical processes that drive the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, and their interaction. This is the core of climate science. Lectures will be guided by consideration of observations and experiments, but the goal is to develop an understanding of the unifying principles of planetary fluid dynamics. Topics include the global energy balance, convection and radiation (the greenhouse effect), effects of planetary rotation (the Coriolis force), structure of the atmospheric circulation (the Hadley cell and wind patterns), structure of the oceanic circulation (wind-driven currents and the thermohaline circulation), climate and climate variability (including El Nino and anthropogenic warming).


MATH-UA 121 Calculus I (or equivalent) or MATH-UA 212 Math for Economics II (for Economics majors), with a grade of B- or better, though completion of MATH-UA 123 Calculus III (multivariate calculus) or MATH-UA 213 Math for Economics III (for Economics majors) is preferred and recommended. Students should also have some familiarity with introductory physics (even at the advanced high school level).

Course Syllabus