Climate Science

Introduction to climate studies, including beginnings of the solar system, time scales, and climate in human history; methods for detecting climate change, including proxies, ice cores, instrumental records, and time series analysis; physical and chemical processes in climate, including primordial atmosphere, ozone chemistry, carbon and oxygen cycles, and heat and water budgets; internal feedback mechanisms, including ice, aerosols, water vapor, clouds, and ocean circulation; climate forcing, including orbital variations, volcanism, plate tectonics, and solar variability; climate models and mechanisms of variability, including energy balance, coupled models, and global ocean and atmosphere models; and outstanding problems.


12.301: 12 units, fall semester



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