GEO 377P/387H  (Unique 27220/27350)


(MWF 11:00 -12:00 EPS 1.126)

Fall 2016

Tentative Schedules (to be refined during the course of the semester)

Last updated on 08/23/16 09:31 PM

  Monday Wednesday Friday Topics Assignments
Week 1   8/24 First class: Syllabus/course layout; Chapter 1: Introduction to the Climate System 8/26 1 Diagnostic Test (take-home test; due on 8/29 before class starts); CO2 now; Celsius-Fahrenheit conversion; Read Geology of mankind; GCC and ESS; "Biographical Memoir" of Steve for the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The memoir is available at:
Week 2 8/29 Discussion of Diagnostic Test; Components of the Climate System;  Chapter 2, Global Energy Balance 8/31 HW#1 (Due right before 9/9) 9/2 Quiz #1 2 Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 4 , relate the recent Greenland ice melt with the recent changes in the entire cryosphere (e.g., snow cover, sea ice, Antarctic ice sheet, and permafrost).
Week 3 9/5 Labor Day Holiday 9/7 9/9 2,3 Read Theory Inversion in satellite sounding; DMS; IPCC radiative forcing (1); NRC2005 and forcing (2); Bad Greenhouse.
Week 4 9/12 HW #2 (Due 9/19) 9/14Two assumptions of the simplest GH model; see A simple greenhouse model, a leaky greenhouse, and a more opaque greenhouse (section 2.3.1-2.3.3) 9/16  Independent Study Chapter 3, Radiative Transfer, Clouds and Climate 2,3 Read Simple greenhouse models; Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 2
Week 5 9/19 Quiz #2; Chapter 4 Surface Energy Balance 9/21 ABL, Thermodynamics, Reynolds decomposition, Eddy covariance, Bulk aerodynamic formulas 9/23  Atmospheric humidity variables (Supplementary Materials for Ch 4 and 5); Atmospheric Stability and Clouds (see notes) 3,4 Earth's Global Energy Budget (Trenberth et al., 2009; Kiehl and Trenberth, 1997); Land Use (1) & Land Use (2); RSS; greenness; ecosystem modeling; Hoffmann 1 & 2 ; Forests and Climate Change; white roof; global decreasing ET trend; land CO2 and climate
Week 6 9/26 Chapter 5, Hydrologic Cycle 9/28 Overview for Ch4 and Ch 5 9/30 Quiz #3 4,5 Read precipitationland P trend; IPCC report on P; pan evaporation ET and remote sensing;  Potential Temperature
Week 7 10/3  Chapter 6 Atmospheric General Circulation and Climate (advanced materials), (Introductory materials) 10/5 10/7   6 Read Alley, ChenHu, LiangXie, Pierrehumbert, York, Yang; Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 7 (7.2) and Chapter 8 (8.2.3).
Week 8 10/10 Chapter 7, Ocean General Circulation and Climate (advanced materials) (Introductory materials) 10/12  Email me the title of your term paper and a list of five peer-reviewed articles 10/14 Quiz #4 6,7 read 200mbWind; ArcticT; VerticalT; read zonal lapse rate and global sediment load;Read ocean warming (1), (2) and (3); SST, SSTA; ocean monitoring; ocean heat content; figure; salinity trend; Hurricanes; THC; El Nino FAQ; Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 5
Week 9 10/17 10/19 10/21 6,7 Impacts research; Dangerous anthropogenic interference; Hockey stick debate
Week 10 10/24 Chapter 8, Paleoclimate 10/26 HW#3 Due 11/2 10/28 Quiz #5 8 Marine biology & glacial cycles & more; Thresholds; benchmark glaciers; SOCC; NSIDC glaciers; Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 6
Week 11 10/31 Chapter 9 Climate Sensitivity and Feedback Mechanisms 11/2 11/4
9 Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 11; Motivational homework Web-Based EBM Modeling Project; read Antarctic sea ice
Week 12 11/7 Chapter 10, Climate Modeling (0-100Y;  Regional Climate Modeling Precipitation Trend) Guest lectures by Dr.  Shaikh 11/9: Guest lectures by Dr. Shaikh 11/11: Guest lectures by Qinjian Jin 10 read GCM history; energy budget; AMIP; Randall on modeling 1, 2; Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 8, Chapter 10 and Technical Summary; The latest IPCC AR5 reports can be found at
Week 13 11/14: Chapter 11 & 12, Natural and Anthropogenic Climate Change 11/16 Term paper due November 16, 2016 11/18  Quiz #6 11, 12 Read IPCC 2007 Chapter 11; GW & sea level rise; CCC; GW & glacier melt
Week 14 11/21 Presentations (15 minutes each including questions): 11/23 Thanksgiving 11/25 Thanksgiving 11, 12 read 0-2000 AD and news release; Data Error; tropospheric and surface temperature trends (1) and (2); dust (1) and (2);  "Hockey stick"; RealClimate; ClimateArk; GW and Health; Warm Feeling
Week 15 11/28 Presentations: 11/30   12/2     
Week 16 12/5 Last Class Day: Course Evaluation        

* The report must be in the following format. Text must be double-spaced. Margins must be one inch on all four sides; type size must be at least 11 point.

Term paper due November 16, 2016.

The report should provide a critical review of at least five closely related papers selected from the assignment column above. The review must be in the following format. There is a 15-page minimum including tables, figures and references. Text must be double-spaced. Margins must be one inch on all four sides; type size must be at least 11 point. The review should include a title and an abstract.

For an example of the review, the students may refer to Pierrehumbert or Yang.

Sample Homework Sheets: 1, 2 (a, b, c, d), 3 (sun), 4, 5

Student / Presentation in Spring 2011 Term paper References
Beckner-Irwin, Zoey (4/28) (presentation) El Nino and La Nina (ENSO) and Their Impacts on Global Climate and Population  
Langston, Jasmine (4/28) (presentation) Investigating the Feedbacks between Climate Change and the Global Carbon Cycle Generated between Various Climate Models Cox et al. (2000), Fridlingstein et al. (2003), Sanders et al. (2005), Schlesinger et al. (2000), Sokolov et al. (2008)
Millican, Alessandra (5/3) (presentation) The Impact of Global Warming on Hurricane Activity Webster, Emanuel 1 and 2
Pescatore, John (5/5) (presentation) The Use of High-Performance Computing in Climate Modeling  
Picton, Jeff (5/5) (presentation) The Urban Climate: Energy Balance and Heat Island  
Pharr, Paige (5/3) (presentation) Climate Change and the Potential Effects on Hydrology  
Vinas, Keri (4/28) (presentation) Factors Influencing Plant Update of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere  


Student / Presentation in Fall 2008 Term paper References
Detmer, Ria (2 December) (presentation) Anthropogenic Influences and Their Impact on Global Climate  
Eastwood, Erin (2 December) (presentation) Pangean Paleoclimate Loope et al. (2004), Parrish and Peterson (1988), Peterson (1988), Rowe et al. (2007), Soreghan et al. (2002)
Huang, Lei (25 November) (presentation) Review on Ocean Heat Content and Ocean Warming Barnett et al. (2001), Boyer et al. (2005), Levitus et al. (2000), Levitus et al. (2001), Willis et al., (2004)
Ingol, Eusebio (2 December) (presentation) Climate Change Impacts on the Water Resources Murphy (1999), Wilby (1997), Yates (2003), IPCC Chapter 10 (2001), IPCC (2008) Climate Change and Water, IPCC (2001) Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
Issac, Toby (4 December) (presentation) Approaches and Challenges in Ice Sheet Modeling Greve (2000), Huybrechts and de Wolde (1999), Huybrechts et al. (2004), Pattyn et al. (2008), Ridley et al. (2005)
Mirabito, Chrisopher (4 December) (presentation) Oceanic Climate Change: Contributions of Heat Content, Temperature, and Salinity Trends to Global Warming Barnett et al. (2001), Boyer et al. (2005), Levitus et al. (2000), Levitus et al. (2001), Willis et al., (2004)
Neupane, Naresh (4 December) (presentation) To Study the Various Factors Affecting the Summer Monsoon Rainfall in Nepal Hansen et al. (2000), Lau et al. (2006), Ramanathan et al. (2001), Ramanathan et al. (2005), Saji et al. (1999)
Riel, Bryan (4 December) (presentation) Effect of Ocean Warming on West Antarctic Ice Streams and Ice Shelves Oppenheimer (1988), Payne (2004), Shepherd (2004), Wigley and Raper (2005), IPCC (2007) Chapter 4
Schroeder, Dustin (25 November) (presentation) The West Antarctic Ice Sheet and Sea Level Rise Alley (2005), Bindschadler (2006), Holt (2006), Shepard (2004), Vaugn (2007)
Shaw, John (25 November) (presentation) Predicting the Affects of Climate Change on Global Rivers: A Review Zonal lapse rate and Global sediment load
Shi, Mingjie (25 November) (presentation) Changes and Feedbacks of Land Use and Land Cover under Global Change Forests and Climate Change; Land Use (1) & Land Use (2)
Sun, Ying (2 December) (presentation) Retrieval and Application of Land Surface Temperature Jin (2004), Pinheiro et al. (2006), Prigent et al. (2003), Wan and Dozier (1996), Wang et al. (2008)


Student / Presentation in Fall 2007 Literature Review References
Chan, Wa Seong / Climate warming and Himalaya snowmelt Report Barnett | Nijssen
Davidson, Sarah Cain / Groundwater recharge Report Gurdak | Higgins | Pool | Scott | Seyfried
Kim, Il Nam/ Global warming and ocean chemistry Report  
Reardon, Betty Jane/ Climate change Report Guisan | Parmesan
Rosero Ramirez, Enrique X / Land-atmosphere interaction Report  
Siler, Clark D. / Water availability Report  
Smith, Virginia Burton / Global warming and drought Report PDSI | Drought


Student / Presentation in Fall 2006 Literature Review References
Amanda Barr / Land Use and Global Warming Report Global carbon, desert ecosystems
Cedric David / Hydrology in Land Surface Models Report Land
Xiaoyan Jiang / Coupling of Aerosols and Hydrologic Cycle Report Aerosols, ecosystems
Jihee Song / Sensitivity of Biogenic Emissions to Climate Report  
Chase Asher / Global Sea Level Report  
Jeremy Krimmel / Hockey Stick Report  
Leslie Llado / Groundwater Report  
Bennett Pifer / Hockey Stick Report  
Cynthia Valle / Groundwater 2 Report  


Student / Presentation in Fall 2005 Literature Review Articles
Avnery, Shiri / Fire and Climate ENSO and Fire [Report] ENSO-fire 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Diehl, Theresa / Oceanic Warming Ice sheets and Climate [Report] Barnett, Payne, Oppenheimer, Shepherd, Hansen, McKitrick, Wigley & Raper
Ewing, Ryan / Snowball Snowball Climate [Report] Baum_Crowley 1, 2, Hyde, Pierrehumbert, Thresholds
Gulden, Lindsey / BVOC Groundwater and Climate [Report] Alley, ChenHu, LiangXie, Pierrehumbert, York
Katerndahl, Tiffany / Hurricanes Hurricanes and Global Warming [Report] Webster, Emanuel 1 and 2; Hurricane 1
Kinney, Jacki / Hurricanes Hurricanes and Global Warming [Report] Webster, Emanuel 1 and 2; Hurricane 1
Kuntz, Matt / Hurricane and Global Warming Hurricanes and Global Warming [Report] Webster, Emanuel 1 and 2; Hurricane 1
Su, Hua / Groundwater Groundwater and Climate [Report] ChenHu, LiangXie, York,
Thijs, Ann /Land Cover Change Land Use/Land Cover Change and Climate [Report] Land Use (1) & Land Use (2)
Wolaver, Brad Groundwater Recharge in Mexico/Texas Border [Report] Aquifer classification