Undergraduate Course: Atmospheric Dynamics (METE10001)
Course Outline
School  School of Geosciences 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  Introduces the fundamentals of atmospheric circulation that govern weather and climate in the tropics and midlatitudes.This includes largescale flows and eddies, the General Circulation and midlatitude storm systems. Meteorological data will be used to illustrate air flow patterns, jetstreams, midlatitudes cyclones and their intensification. 
Course description 
Lectures 12: Overview and vertical structure
Hydrostatic equilibrium in the atmosphere. Potential temperature and its relevance to the vertical stability of a compressible atmosphere.
Lectures 34: Equations of motion for a rotating Earth
The NavierStokes equations for an inertial frame of reference of a compressible fluid based on Newton's first law of motion and the conservation of mass. The NavierStokes equations for a frame of reference rotating with the earth. Approximations for largescale flow. Configuration of forces.
Lectures 58: Synopticscale approximations and frictional forces
The order of magnitude of forces and accelerations present in synopticscale weather patterns. Geostrophic and thermal wind approximations. Estimates of winds in synopticscale systems from pressure and temperature gradients. Mean and eddy flow. Wind variation with height due to frictional forces in the boundary layer.
Lectures 911: Vorticity and Divergence
Vorticity and divergence definitions for meteorology. Linking divergence and vertical velocity Potential vorticity and its usefulness as tool for understanding fluid motion.
Lecture 1213: Tropical and midlatitude circulations
The experimental evidence from "rotating dishpan" experiments that degree of departure from zonal symmetry depends on rotation rate and horizontal temperature gradients. Axisymetric flow and conservation of angular momentum. Meridional circulations in the tropics and their relation to the subtropical jet.
Lectures: 1416: Rossby wave and cyclone models
The motivation for and limitations of atmospheric wave motion as a perturbation from a basic flow. Barotropic and baroclinic conditions. Midlatitude planetaryscale waves and the Eady model of midlatitude cyclone growth. Climate change effects on midlatitude storm behaviour.

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  None 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: None 
Course Start 
Semester 1 
Timetable 
Timetable 
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 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
80 %,
Coursework
20 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
Examination at the end of Semester 1 in December (80%) and tutorial questions (20%)
The student will use webresources to answer a series of tutorial style questions and perform calculations. Detailed information on the tutorial will be provided in class and the students will have the opportunity to ask questions in one of the tutorial slots before the handin. Since tutorial style questions also form part of the exam this will provide feedback that will aid with exam preparation. 
Feedback 
Not entered 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S1 (December)  Atmospheric Dynamics  2:00  
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
 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 midlatitudes and tropics. Students will learn how to apply fundamental equations of fluid flow to understand atmospheric circulation, wind patterns, jetstreams, and midlatitudes cyclone evolution. They will also become familiar as to how different meteorological data can be used to determine midlatitude 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 NavierStokes equation from Newton's first law of motion and the conservation of mass
Explain how the NavierStokes equations are transformed to represent largescale flow for a rotating Earth
Understand the relative magnitudes of the forces and accelerations present in synopticscale midlatitude weather patterns
Use geostrophic and thermal wind approximations to obtain estimates of winds in synopticscale 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 subtropical 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 midlatitude planetaryscale waves and midlatitude cyclone growth by use of linear theory
Review the latest IPCC 4th assessment of how climate change may affect the midlatitude storm tracks and system and critically evaluate these with professionallevel 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 professionallevel researchers, both at the individual and group level.

Reading List
Applied Atmospheric Dynamics
Lynch, Amanda H. and Cassano, John, J ISBN10: 0470861738
Atmosphere Ocean and climate Dynamics
Marshall, J. and R. Plumb ISBN10: 0125586914
Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey
Wallace, John M.; Hobbs, Peter V. ISBN: 9780127329512
Mid latitude Atmospheric Dynamics
Martin, J. ISBN10: 0470864656
An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology
Holton, James R. ISBN 0123340151 
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Additional Class Delivery Information 
2 onehour lectures per week 
Keywords  Atm Dynamics 
Contacts
Course organiser  Dr Ruth Doherty
Tel: (0131 6)50 6759
Email: ruth.doherty@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Miss Christine Lee
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
Email: Christine.Lee@ed.ac.uk 

