Mathematics

ECMM725 - The Climate System (2015)

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MODULE TITLEThe Climate System CREDIT VALUE15
MODULE CODEECMM725 MODULE CONVENERDr Tim Jupp (Coordinator)
DURATION: TERM 1 2 3
DURATION: WEEKS 11 weeks 0 0
Number of Students Taking Module (anticipated) 9
DESCRIPTION - summary of the module content

This module is designed to give you an overview of the key physical processes determining the behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere. An informative subtitle might be climate physics for the mathematically literate. Topics covered will include radiative energy transfer, the structure, motion and thermodynamics of the atmosphere, the surface energy balance, and the main components of the general circulation (Hadley cells, Walker cells, jet streams etc.). The emphasis, where possible, will be on simple analytical models for commonly observed phenomena and on the development of physical intuition.
 

Prerequisite module: ECM3707 or equivalent
 

AIMS - intentions of the module

By the end of this module, you will have an understanding of the basic physics of the Earth’s climate, and will comprehend the principle circulations in the atmosphere and the ocean.

INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:



Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:
1 comprehend the physics responsible for the general circulation;
2 understand in detail radiation, dynamics and atmospheric thermodynamics;
3 demonstrate a familiarity with the terminology and physical mechanisms of common meteorological phenomena.
Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:
4 apply previously acquired mathematical techniques to the climate system;
5 appreciate the utility of simple models and nondimensionalisation.
Personal and Key Transferable/ Employment Skills and  Knowledge:
6 apply mathematical skills to the atmospheric sciences.

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

- motivation: the observed state of the atmosphere;
- planetary scale energy balance, equator-to-pole heat transport;
- surface energy balance (short- and long-wave radiation, sensible and latent heat);
- vertical structure and thermodynamics of the atmosphere (dry and moist);
- atmospheric dynamics: convection, rotation, instability and waves.

LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning & Teaching Activities 33.00 Guided Independent Study 117.00 Placement / Study Abroad
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
Category Hours of study time Description
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 33 Lectures
Guided independent study 117 Assessment preparation; wider reading
     

 

ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of Assessment Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Not applicable      
       
       
       
       

 

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
Coursework 50 Written Exams 50 Practical Exams
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of Assessment % of Credit Size of Assessment (e.g. duration/length) ILOs Assessed Feedback Method
Written exam – closed book 50 2 hours All  
Coursework – continuous assessment 1 15 25 hours All Feedback sheet
Coursework – continuous assessment 2 20 30 hours All Feedback sheet
Coursework – continuous assessment 3 15 25 hours All Feedback sheet
         

 

DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original Form of Assessment Form of Re-assessment ILOs Re-assessed Time Scale for Re-reassessment
All above Written exam (100%) All August Ref/Def period
       
       

 

RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.


If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of
information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk


 

Reading list for this module:

Type Author Title Edition Publisher Year ISBN Search
Set Houghton, JT The Physics of Atmospheres 3rd Cambridge University Press 2002 978-0521011228 [Library]
Set Marshall John, Plumb R. Alan An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology Academic Press 2004 [Library]
Set Peixoto, J P, Oort, A H Physics of Climate American Institue of Physics 1997 978-0883187128 [Library]
Set Holton, J. R An introduction to Dynamic Meteorology 4th Academic Press 2012 978-0123848666 [Library]
Set Ambaum, Maarten, H P Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere 1st Wiley-Blackwell 2010 978-047074151 [Library]
Extended Dunlop, S A Dictionary of Weather new edition Oxford University Press 2005 978-0198610496 [Library]
CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE 7.5
PRE-REQUISITE MODULES ECM3707
CO-REQUISITE MODULES
NQF LEVEL (FHEQ) 7 AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING No
ORIGIN DATE Friday 09 January 2015 LAST REVISION DATE Friday 09 January 2015
KEY WORDS SEARCH Fluid dynamics; meteorology; weather; climate; atmosphere; thermodynamics; convection.