Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling (ENVI11002)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Year 5 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The aim of the course is to provide a theoretical and practical introduction to three dimensional climate modelling. This will allow students to have an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of climate models and for some to subsequently carry out projects which make use of climate models.
The course is structured as a set of guided readings of the text book 'An Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling, 2nd Edition' by Washington and Parker.
Students will be expected to read selected parts of the text and come to the class to discuss areas where they are uncertain. The lecture will aim to clarify areas where the class are uncertain and provide guidance and structure for the next set of readings.
5 Sessions (Block 1 & 2):
The numbers refere to sections & sub-sections in 'An Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling'
Session 1: Introduction.
- Course aims.
- Climate System - land and Ocean. (section 2.1, 2.2, 2.4.1-2.4.4)
Session 2: Equations of motion for the Atmosphere & the Oceans - also with help from Vallis book. (Students who have not studied Atmospheric Dynamics would find this session hard)
- Governing Equations for the Atmosphere sections 3.1-3.3 (pp 49-69)
- Governing equations for the Ocean (3.8.1 & 3.8.3-3.8.4)
Session 3: Numerical solutions & the need for parameterisation
- Grid-point methods (Sections 4.1 & 4.2)
- Semi-Lagrangian methods for advection. (4.7)
- Spectral Methods (4.4 & 4.5)
Session 4: Parameterisation
- Radiation () (3.6.1-3.6.5)
- Clouds (3.6.6.-3.6.9)
- Ocean Eddies (3.8.4)
Session 5: Using Climate Models.
- Sensitivity to Initial Conditions
- Simulations of Present Climate (5.1, 5.2, 5.5)
- Using Models to understand possible future climates (6.6 & 6.10)
The course will be run as a set of guiding readings largely of parts of the textbook "Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling" by Washington and Parkinson + other books. There will be one 1-hour seminar/week for 5 weeks. The aim of the seminars will be for the students to demonstrate they have understood the previous week's readings and to be given guidance for readings for the following week.
Each session (50 mins) would consist of a discussion about previous set readings (30 mins) where students would raise issues that they did not understand while academic would try to clarify those issues. The remaining 20 mins would be used to set out key ideas in next set of readings. Students would be expected to spend 9 hours/week working through readings; doing problems etc.
The course functions on the assumption that level 11 students are mature enough to be self-learners. So students will be expected, perhaps with some guidance, to seek out additional material and read some literature.
To supplement the theoretical study practical training in how to run the unified model (or other models). (Two ½ day labs to be arranged in weeks 4-6 as appropriate). Two subsequent sessions (also two ½ day labs) will give the students practical training in how to analyse the Unified Model - a climate model (or other models as time develops). Section numbers below refer to Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| Students are strongly recommended to have some experience with programming computers prior to the course.
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||The exam will be two questions out of three. Two of the questions will be theoretical where the students can demonstrate their understanding of the theoretical concepts in the course and a third essay based one where students can demonstrate their understanding of how to use climate models and some broader reading.
The course work is a group exercise which will be assessed using a similar marking scheme to project work. Students are expected to keep a diary and individual students can receive more or less marks based on their contribution to the report.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling||1:30|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Have a theoretical understanding of the principals underlying three dimensional climate models
- Have a theoretical understanding of how climate models work
- Have a practical understanding of how to run a climate model
- Have a practical understanding of how to analyse climate model output
|'An Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling, 2nd Edition' by Washington and Parker|
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||1 one-hour session per week.
|Course organiser||Prof Simon Tett
|Course secretary||Miss Christine Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:03 am