ESE 101: Earth’s Atmosphere

Instructor

Prof. Tapio Schneider
CliMA House (516 S. Catalina Ave.)
tapio@caltech.edu
Office hours: Fridays 4-5pm

Texts

Ticket Questions/Answers

Schneider, T., Physics of Earth’s Climateevolving book draft.

Hartmann, D. L., Global Physical Climatology, Academic Press (1994).

Petty, G., A First Course in Atmospheric Radiation, 2nd Ed., Sundog Publishing (2006). ~pdf here~

Marshall, J. and R. A. Plumb, Atmosphere, Ocean, and Climate Dynamics, Academic Press (2008).

Taylor, F. W., Elementary Climate Physics, Oxford UP (2005)

Pierrehumbert, R. T., Principles of Planetary Climate, Cambridge UP (2010).

Teaching Assistants

Katrina Hui
226 Linde+Robinson
Office hours: Tuesdays 4-6pm
klhui@caltech.edu

Clare Singer
CliMA House (516 S. Catalina Ave.)
Office hours: Wednesdays 2-4pm, L+R classroom
csinger@caltech.edu

Schedule

Lectures
Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-2:25pm, 162 South Mudd

Recitations
Mondays 7-8pm, 162 South Mudd

Homework

  • Homework 1 [PDF]

    Due Date: October 17
    Solution 1 [PDF]
  • Homework 2 [PDF]

    Due Date: October 24
    Solution 2 [PDF]
  • Homework 3 [PDF]

    Due Date: October 31
    Solution 3 [PDF]
  • Homework 4 [PDF]

    Due Date: November 7
    Solution 4 [PDF]
  • Homework 5 [PDF]

    Due Date: November 14
    Solution 5 [PDF]
  • Homework 6 [PDF]

    Due Date: November 21
    Solution 6 [PDF]

Grading Policy

  • Homework assignments: 60%
    • Homework assignments will be distributed on Thursdays and are due in class the following Thursday.
    • There will be 6 assignments; the lowest score will be dropped in the final grade.
    • Collaboration on homework sets is encouraged, but please turn in solutions individually and state on your solutions with whom you collaborated.
    • Late homework is not accepted. Please email the TAs before the homework is due if you need to request an extension.
    • Homework is due in class or turned in to the TAs before 5pm. Electronic submissions are great (save trees!) but please submit assignments as pdfs saved as lastname_hwX.pdf.
  • Weekly tickets: 10%
    • Short quiz questions based on the readings given on Tuesdays at the start of class.
  • Final exam (oral) or project: 30%

Schedule and Handouts

  • Week

    Description

    Reading/Handouts

  • 10/03

    Phenomena: Observed features of the atmospheric circulation

    Reading

    Book draft, chapter 1.

    Slides

    Phenomena slides.

  • 10/08

    Tuesday: Phenomena (2). Thursday: Radiative energy.

    Radiative energy: Planck’s Law, Stefan-Boltzmann Law. Kichhoff’s Law. Effective temperature.

    Reading

    Book draft, chapter 2.

    Slides

    Radiative energy slides

    Extra

    Hartmann, chap. 2, 3.

    Taylor, chap. 2, 6.

    Blackbody radiation/Planck function derivation (Feynman Lectures)

  • 10/15

    Tuesday: Greenhouse effect (1). Thursday: Insolation and its variations with latitude and season.

    Reading

    Book draft, chapters 2 and 3.

    Hartmann, chap. 3.8.

    Slides

    Insolation slides.

    Extra

    Taylor, chap. 6.8

    Interactive greenhouse effect tools:

    2-layer model  and  n-layer model

  • 10/22

    Tuesday: Milankovich cycles. Thursday: Radiation and matter (1)

    Radiation and matter: Interactions of electromagnetic radiation with molecules. Infrared absorption, properties of absorbing molecules. Line broadening.

    Reading

    Hartmann, chap. 3.1-3.6.

    Slides

    Radiation-matter slides

    Albedo slides

    Extra

    Taylor, chap. 6.7

  • 10/29

    Tuesday: Radiation and matter (2). Thursday: Radiative transfer.

    Radiation and matter (2): Lambert-Beer law. Absorption rates and heating rates.

    Radiative transfer: Schwarzschild equation and simple solutions (e.g., cloud decks).

    Reading

    Rayleigh scattering notes

    Hartmann, chap. 3.7.

    Petty, chap. 12.

    Extra

    Taylor, chap. 6.1-6.6

    Petty, chaps. 7-8.

  • 11/05

    Tuesday: Greenhouse effect (2). Thursday: Energy and temperature.

    Greenhouse effect (2): Radiative-convective equilibrium. Height of the tropopause. Greenhouse warming.

    Energy and temperature: TOA and surface energy balance. Bowen ratio and its dependence on climate.

    Reading

    Hartmann, chaps. 2.8-2.9, 3.10-3.12, and 4.

    Slides

    Radiative-convective equilibrium slides

    TOA and surface energy budgets

     

  • 11/12

    Tuesday: Energy transport. Thursday: Winds and Angular momentum.

    Energy transport: Forms of energy and energy transport (eddies and mean circulations) and their relative importance.

    Winds and angular momentum: Surface winds. Angular momentum balance. Hide’s theorem. Hadley circulation.

    Reading

    Hartmann, chap. 6.

    Historical overviews on winds: Lorenz (1983).

    Slides

    Energy transport slides

    Winds–Overview of historical ideas

    Extra

    Marshall & Plumb, chap. 5, 8

  • 11/19

    Atmospheric general circulation

    Hadley circulations in axisymmetric atmospheres. Ekman balance and surface winds. Extratropical winds.

    Reading

    Hartmann, chap. 6.

    Marshall et al., Thermal Wind Balance

    General Circulation Review (read sections 1 and 2.1)

    Slides

    Angular momentum balance slides

    Lenka’s slides on angular momentum

    Extra

    Marshall & Plumb, chap. 7, 8

  • 11/26

    No class - Thanksgiving

  • 12/03

    Tuesday: Water. Thursday: Final Presentations

    Water: Water reservoirs, hydrologic cycle overview.

    Reading

    Hartmann, chap. 5.

    Slides

    Hydrologic cycle overview slides

  • 12/12

    Thursday: Final presentations

Papers for final presentation

Class Feedback

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