Instructors: Cecilia Bitz
The atmosphere is part
of a complex system that is often best investigated with models.
Atmospheric models offer the opportunity to probe real phenomena, and
models can be used as a learning tool to explore ideas though "what if"
experimentation. This course will provide an overview of what weather
and climate models entail, and how these models are used in the
atmospheric sciences. Students will learn to run stateoftheart
models used for research in the atmospheric sciences. The course will
cover techniques to visualize and analyze atmospheric phenomena.
Students will be introduced to numerical methods and highperformance
computing. Prerequisite: MATH 124126, PHYS 121122, and ONE of the
following ATMS 101,111,211,301; ASTR 150,321; or ESS 201.
The
objective for this course are to teach how weather and climate models
are
applied to solving problems in atmospheric sciences.
To teach
modeling and visualization of model output as resources for
professional careers in the environmental sciences. To teach
the basics in numerical methods and highperformance computing. To
provide a
phenomenological approach to understanding complex problems.To empower undergraduates with research skills for
independent learning and to assist with university research projects.
Unfortunately there is
no perfect text book for this course for all the topics. The required
text is "A Climate Modeling Primer" by McGuffie and Henderson Sellers.
There will be supplementary reading material handed out in class.
Weekly exercises will
involve running, analyzing, and interpreting models. When running a
model for the first time in the course, designing a reasonable
experiment, successfully setting it up and running the model will be
the main goal of an exercise. In subsequent weeks, students will be
judged on their interpretation of the results.Thus homework will be
evaluated for a combination of following instructions, application of
scientific method, and analysis of results. Exams will test students'
understanding of reading and lecture materials. The course grade will
be weighted 50% from homework and 50% from the midterm and final exam.
Week 
Lectures 
Exercises 
Reading 
1 
Introduction to numerical modeling in
atmospheric sciences. Basics of turning equations of motion,
thermodynamics, etc. into
numerical schemes. Boundary value problems versus initial value
problems. Basics of using matlab and writing a simple script. 
HW1 Coding a simple equation in matlab 
McG&HS Ch 1 
2 
Introduction to CAM. The value of idealized
studies. Introduction to first case study: Baroclinic wave. Analyzing
model output from the case study, model validation. 
Baroclinic
Wave case study 1.HW2  Running CAM with
scripts prepared for you. Making maps and animations with model output.
Optional Reading (rather advanced) by Jablonowsky and Williams
(2006) about this exercise. 
Chapter on weather modeling handed out in
class. 
3 
Monday is a holiday.
What is a
parameterization? What is resolved in a model? What is uncertainty?
Introduction to sensitivity studies. Hypothesis testing to investigate
the case study. (no notes for this week since I mostly drew picture at the board) 
Baroclinic
Wave case study 2. Comparing resolutions HW3 

4 
Examples of research
using models for mesoscale and synoptic scale applications. Ensemble
forecasts. Analysis of an ensemble. Lecture_7&8.pdf Lorenz model matlab script, also get this one 
Aqua planet
with moist physics. HW4
Moist run  vertical
motion in cm/s
at 500hPa and eddy height at 500hPa 

5 
Midterm 
HW5 Modeling some strange orbits, what happens to
the jet? 
McG&HS Ch 2 and 3 
6 
Planetary atmospheres and energy balance modeling. A look at the energy balance in our strange orbit runs. chalkboard_feb9.pdf 


7 
Equilibrium response to greenhouse gases in CCSM4 compared to EBM chalkboard_feb14_page1.pdf,

McG&HS Ch
5 

8 2/21 2/25 
Monday is President's Day On Wednesday I lectured about how I set up runs. The personal project set up instructions (at left) have much of the material that I discussed in class. I also talked about vegetation and land surface modeling in this pdf 
Personal projects set up and
run on Friday MovingMoutains.html (Josh) IcySomplanets.html (Kris) MessWithX.html (Rob) TidalLocking.html (Alex) ShiftIC.html (Bill) Everyone.html Basics.html 

9 
Climate Variability 
Lessons in
model analysis 

10 
Examples of climate research using CAM.
Class summary. 
Personal project presentations on Friday 
Review 
11 
Goosse H., P.Y. Barriat, W. Lefebvre,
M.F. Loutre and V. Zunz. Introduction
to
Climate
Dynamics
and
Climate Modeling Free Web Book.
Hartmann, D., Global Physical Climatology, Elsevier Academic Press, 1994
McGuffie, K., and A. HendersonSellers, A climate modeling primer, 2nd ed., John Wiley and Sons, 2005.
Robinson, W., Modeling dynamic climate systems, Springer, 2001.
Wallace, J. M. and Hobbs, Atmospheric
Science: An Introductory Survey. 2nd ed. 2006.
Washington, W., and C. Parkinson, An
introduction to threedimensional
climate modeling, 2nd ed., University Science Books, 2004.
http://www.theweatherprediction.com/ A web site with useful
information about weather prediction.
