GLOBAL ATMOSPHERIC CHANGE, 2008
Description: An examination of the changes occurring in the Earth’s
atmosphere and climate, both short and long term, and due to
natural as well as anthropogenic causes. We will look carefully at the
scientific basis of these changes, the effects such changes could produce,
and we will discuss possible solutions.
Place: Science 216
Time: MWF 10:30 - 11:20
Text: “Global Warming”, by David Archer
This text has a web site: http://forecast.uchicago.edu/Projects/
Also, you will find it necessary to read widely from things on my reserve shelf, the library stacks, and on the internet.
Requirements: Formally, none, but a good high school background in mathematics, chemistry, and physics would help considerably.
Although “Atmospheric Change” might include such things as acid rain, ozone depletion & urban smog, we will be placing most emphasis on global warming - its scientific basis, computer modelling, predicted effects, observed effects & other impacts, possible surprises, and some ideas for mitigation.
I hope the class can be structured with lots of student participation so that we can place emphasis where your interests seem to lie.
You are expected to have read ahead far enough (typically about 10 or 12 pages) to be conversant with the material and be prepared to ask questions, add comments, and discuss what you have read. In general, I will not simply lecture on the subject matter in the text, but will add other interesting and relevant bits of information or expand on what is given in the book. This subject is changing so rapidly that no book can be entirely up-to-date, so I will attempt to introduce new material where appropriate. Always, I hope to get a discussion going.
In the latter part of the term, we will turn the class to a seminar style and go off on whatever tangents seem interesting and relevant. Please be thinking about such things.
Take-home quiz: Friday, Oct. 3
Quiz due: Monday, Oct 6
Choice of paper topic due: Wednesday Oct. 22
Last class: Wednesday, Dec. 10
Papers due (earler acceptable, of course): Friday, Dec. 12
Evaluations will be based on class participation + quiz performance
(ca. 1/3) and the paper (ca. 2/3).