Course Outline by HC121103205344


									                                   Course Outline
                                     Climate Dynamic I
                                       (ATOC – 530)

Instructor:            Bruno Tremblay
Time:                  Mon-Wed-Fri, 11:30 – 12:30.
Location:              Burnside Hall Building, Room 719A
Teaching Assistant:    Jan Sedlacek


Introduction: Earth radiation balance (1). General circulation of the atmosphere (1) and
oceans (1). Feedbacks between the various spheres of the climate system (1). Use
hydrological and carbon cycles as examples of potential feedbacks (?) (2). Faint Young
Sun paradox as an example of forced climate change and introduction of chemical
weathering and the earth thermostat (1). Geological era, period and epoch (1) – 8

Climate change on various time scales ranging from 10 Myr [forced by plate tectonics –
e.g. snow ball earth, Rocky Mountain and Tibetan Plateau formation, opening of the
Drake Passage, Closing of the Isthmus of Panama and Indonesian throughflow – (5)], to
10 Kyr [forced by orbital changes – e.g. Milankovich cycle, climate of the last 3 million
years gradually changing from 20 to 40 to 100 Kyr, effect of changing climate on human
evolution, modeling of the 100 Kyr cycle (4)], and to 1 Kyr and shorter time scale [forced
by variation in solar insolation, or arising from natural variability [e.g. Dansgaard
Oschgaard Oscillations, Heinrich Event, modeling of the DO event and Henrich event,
Bond cycles (4)] – 13+ lectures.

Climate change: recent history. Forced or natural climate variability? Little ice age,
climatic optimum, medieval warm period, droughts, flash flood – 6+ lectures.

Climate of the 20 and 21st century: Apparent discrepancy between satellite derived
surface temperature and observational record (1), evidence of warming – linear
relationship between CO2 and global mean temperature? (1) Arctic climate changes and
polar amplification (1), future climate [e.g. Ice sheet melting – evidence from Greenland
ice sheet (runoff, seismicity), stability of ice sheet, sea level rise, change in vegetation,
fauna, potential negative feedback – fresh water budget, ice-cloud-albedo feedback) ];
modeling of the climate [e.g. EBM, radiative convective models] (4) – 12+ lectures.


Assignments:           Not corrected (+10pts on Midterm/Final for proper completion).
Week Review:           10%
Oral presentation:    25%
Midterm:              25%
Final:                40%


Ruddiman, W.F., 2001: “Earth’s Climate: Past and Present”, WH Freeman and Co.

Scientific articles from, GRL, Paleoceanography, Journal of Climate, Nature, Science, etc
(see website for details).

Disclaimer: McGill values academic integrity. Therefore all students must understand
the meaning and consequences of cheating, plagiarism and other academic offenses under
the code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures (

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