ATM OCN 121, Fall 2009
(Also cross-listed as IES 121 and Geography 121)
Atmospheric Environment and Society
Instructor: Prof. Pao Wang
Room 1525, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Building
Office Hours: M 10-11:30 AM and by appointment
TA: Jacob Beitlich
Room 1521, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Building
Office Hours: Wed Fri 9-11 AM and by appointment
Time and Place
Lec: 1:20- MW
Rm 113 Psychology
No textbook required. All lectures will be presented in form of PowerPoint slides.
Lecture materials will be posted on http://webcom3.grtxle.com/aeas . You will need to
contact Great River Technologies at the above web site to purchase an access card.
Class Web Site
Important announcements will be posted at http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aos121pkw
Grading will be based on two mid-terms (30% each) and one final (40%). The exams will
be in multiple choice format. Main emphasis of the exams will be to test your
understanding of the subjects. The course grade is determined by the distribution of the
final total scores (not the average of the three exam grades).
Those who signed up for the one honor credit will do a project to earn it. You will receive
emails from Prof. Wang for details about the project. Note that the honor credit cannot be
converted to a regular credit.
In this course, we will explore the changing interactions between human society
and the atmospheric environment. It is broadly divided into 4 parts:
1. The first part is an overview of the fundamental facts of our atmosphere – its
physical and chemical structure, how it has evolved from the beginning to the
present state, and basic atmospheric processes – mainly winds and cloud
2. The second part will be the impacts of the atmospheric environment on us –
weather and climate and how they influence our daily life. Subjects such as
aviation meteorology, thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes and hurricanes will be
3. The third part is the ―reverse impact‖ – how human beings influence our
atmospheric environment. Specific environmental issues such as global warming,
ozone depletion, photochemical smog, acid rain and other human-caused
atmospheric environmental changes are among the topics to be addressed.
4. The fourth part is a summary of what we have learned from the above and what
possible atmospheric future scenarios will be waiting for us.
(Tentative, subject to change)
1 The Earth System and Atmosphere
2 Physicochemical Structure of Atmosphere/Ocean
3 Evolution of the Atmosphere/Ocean
4 The Sun and Its Influences on the Earth System
5 Seasons and Climates, General Circulations
6 1st Midterm (date TBA, in class)
7 The Weather Machine—Winds, Clouds, Rain, Snow, etc.
8 Thunderstorms and Tornados
10 Photochemical Smog and Urban Air Pollution
11 Ozone Hole
12 2nd Midterm (date TBA, in class)
13 Global Warming
14 Acid Rain
15 Global Climatic Change and Human Influences
16 Biodiversity; Sustainable Future of the World (if time allows)
17 Final Exam (10:05 A.M. Tuesday, December 22)