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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Meteorology

Undergraduate Course: Atmospheric Dynamics (METE10001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaMeteorology Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionIntroduces the fundamentals of atmospheric circulation that govern weather and climate in the tropics and mid-latitudes.This includes large-scale flows and eddies, the General Circulation and mid-latitude storm systems. Meteorological data will be used to illustrate air flow patterns, jetstreams, mid-latitudes cyclones and their intensification.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Mathematics for Physics 4 (PHYS08038) OR Dynamics and Vector Calculus (PHYS08043) OR Mathematical Methods for Geophysicists (EASC09021)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements In addition to passing at least one of the above courses, a further 30 credits at level 9/10 from schedule Q or N is also required
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 16, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 75 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 90 %, Coursework 10 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Atmospheric Dynamics2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the course it is intended that the student will have a detailed, integrated knowledge of the fundamentals of atmospheric dynamics that govern weather and climate in the mid-latitudes and tropics. Students will learn how to apply fundamental equations of fluid flow to understand atmospheric circulation, wind patterns, jetstreams, and mid-latitudes cyclone evolution. They will also become familiar as to how different meteorological data can be used to determine mid-latitude cyclone intensification. Specifically, students will also be able to:
-Develop the concept of "potential temperature" and its relevance to the vertical stability of the atmosphere
-Show how to derive the Navier-Stokes equation from Newton's first law of motion and the conservation of mass
-Explain how the Navier-Stokes equations are transformed to represent large-scale flow for a rotating Earth
-Understand the relative magnitudes of the forces and accelerations present in synoptic-scale mid-latitude weather patterns
-Use geostrophic and thermal wind approximations to obtain estimates of winds in synoptic-scale systems from pressure and temperature gradients.
-Understand the typical configuration of meridional circulations in the tropics and their relation to the atmospheric General Circulation and the strength of the sub-tropical jet
-Explain the concept of potential vorticity and its usefulness for understanding airflow over a mountain
-Discuss the motivation for and limitations of treatment of atmospheric wave motion as a perturbation from a basic flow (linear theory) in order to explain friction at the Earth's surface and planetary waves
-Explain the observed behaviour of mid-latitude planetary-scale waves and mid-latitude cyclone growth by use of linear theory
-Review the latest IPCC 4th assessment of how climate change may affect the mid-latitude storm tracks and system and critically evaluate these with professional-level insights. Students will also inform their knowledge with background reading of relevant, up to date literature.
By the end of this course, students will be skilled in numerical problem solving and critical evaluation as done by professional-level researchers, both at the individual and group level.

Assessment Information
Examination at the end of Semester 1 in December (90%) and tutorial questions (10%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Applied Atmospheric Dynamics
Lynch, Amanda, H. And Cassano, John, J ISBN-10: 0470861738

Atmosphere Ocean and climate Dynamics
Marshall. J. and R. Plumb ISBN-10: 0125586914

Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey
Wallace, John M.; Hobbs, Peter V. ISBN: 9780127329512

Mid latitude Atmospheric Dynamics
Martin, J. ISBN-10: 0470864656

An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology
Holton, James R. ISBN 0123340151
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Ruth Doherty
Tel: (0131 6)50 6759
Course secretaryMs Meredith Corey
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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