Climate Dynamics 753

Exploring the General Circulation of the Atmosphere

DJF kinetic energy 2-6 days 250hPa Heating in Θ Coord. Circulation at 200 hPa ψ and χ

Figures Courtesy of European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts
Kallbert, P. P. Berrisfort, B. Hoskins, A. Simmons, S. Uppala, S. Lamy-Thepaut and R. Hine, 2005. ERA-40 Atlas. ERA-40 Project Report Series No. 19

Course Syllabus Fall 2017

Course Instructor: David M. Straus
(Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences)

Instructor Contacts and Office Hours:
D. Straus: Room 118 Research Hall. Office Hrs: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM Tues & Thur (703-993-5719)

Class location: Innovation Hall Room 338

Class time: Tues and Thurs 3:00 PM to 4:15 PM

Course Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

Student Work Components

  1. Class Participation = 10% of grade
  2. Four Homework Sets = 30% percent of grade
  3. Mid-Term and Final Exams = 30% percent of grade
  4. Original Research Project with Short Literature Review = 30% of grade
  5. Details of some suggested projects are given at: Suggested Project Descriptions

Primary Required Reading (Course Notes):

Supplementary Reading:

Reanalysis Data Sets

Grads Scripts and programs for reading Data Sets

Course Outline

  1. The basic thermal structure of the Atmosphere
  2. Energy conservation in the primitive equations
  3. Available Potential Energy .
  4. Rotational and Divergent Flow.
  5. The basic structure of momentum of the Atmosphere: roles of divergence and rotational flow
  6. The Global Hadley and Ferrel cells: Observations and theories. Homework 1 (Hadley Cell). The Hadley cell in isentropic coordinates.
  7. Stationary waves: Observations.
  8. Stationary waves: Theory of Zonal and Meridional Propagation.
  9. Stationary waves: Theory of Vertical Propagation.
  10. Mid-latitude Transient fluctuations, Part I.
  11. Life Cycles of Baroclinic Instability. Part I : Theory
    Life Cycles of Baroclinic Instability. Part II: The experiments.
    Life Cycles of Baroclinic Instability. Part III: Available Potential Energy.
  12. Mid-Term Exam
  13. Mid-latitude Transient fluctuations, Part II.
  14. Introduction to Equatorial Waves.
  15. Simple Theory of Forced Tropical Stationary Waves.
  16. Eddy-Zonal Flow interactions.
  17. Introduction to Stratospheric Circulation.
  18. The mean meridional circulation in the stratosphere: Brewer-Dobson Circulation.
  19. Introduction to Scale Interactions and the atmospheric spectrum
  20. Preferred, Recurrent and Persistent States in the atmosphere
  21. Discussion of Projects.
  22. Project Presentations (Final Exam Slot).

Academic Integrity

The homeworks and are designed to be undertaken independently. You may discuss your ideas with others and conference with peers on drafts of the work. However it is not appropriate to give your paper to someone else to revise. You are responsible for making certain that there is no question that the work you hand in is your own. If only your name appears on an assignment, your professor has the right to expect that you have done the work by yourself, fully and independently.
The course projects may be done in teams, but it should be made very clear to the professor and the rest of the class what the responsibility of each student was. Please see the University Honor Code