The class will be
subdivided in three parts:
- The Basic
Physics of the Mean Climate: (two weeks) We will start by reviewing the essential
elements (physics and geometry) that are responsible for the gross
features of the mean climate state and the annual cycle in the global
ocean and atmosphere. This introduction will help to build an intuition
for the processes responsible for variability in the climate system,
from seasonal to decadal time scales.
Atmosphere and Ocean Variability: (three weeks) Included in the first half of the course will
be a brief overview of the dynamics of the uncoupled tropical oceans and
Atmosphere-Ocean Variability in the Tropics: (six weeks) In this part of the
class, we will focus on the dynamics of the two coupled phenomenon in
the climate system: El
Nino/Southern Oscillation phenomenon and the Meridional Modes
ENSO is the most important and simplest example of natural
climate variability on interannual time scales, and has been shown to
have some impact on weather outside of the tropics. The Meridional Modes
are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific basins. The Meridional Modes are
the dominant forcing for varitions in hurricane activitiy in the Atlantic and
the primary energy source for ENSO.
See the syllabus
for a more detailed description.
The first day of class is Thursday, Sept 30
2010: Course overview and introduction. See you in class!