Climate and Water

ENVP U6115

Summer 2003: June 12-July 25

Lectures - Monday, and Friday 10:30 AM – 1:00 AM
Lab - Monday and Friday 3:00 – 5:00 PM
Discussion - Monday 5:30 – 7:00 PM

Instructors:

Patrick Louchouarn
Martin Visbeck

Teaching Assistant: Stephanie Lamster ( sl639@columbia.edu );

Office Hours: (tbd)

Description

A multidisciplinary study of the physical processes on Earth involving on the one hand the climate cycles over long to short-term intervals and on the other hand the global to regional hydrological cycling. A particular emphasis will be placed on the role of humans, in the last centuries, on the perturbation of the natural climate and hydrologic cycles and how these perturbations can be characterized and discerned from natural fluctuations.

The climate system component of the course provides an integrated view of the Earth’s energy budget, structure and circulation of the atmosphere and the ocean, interaction between oceans and atmosphere, as well as climate changes over different timescales. This portion of the course will focus on the identification of forcing factors for such changes as well as provide an introduction to uncertainties and predictability in complex systems, such as that of the Earth, that are involved in future predictions (forecast) of change.

The water cycle part of the class is focused on basic physical principles (evaporation, condensation, precipitation, runoff, stream flow, percolation, and groundwater flow), as well as environmentally relevant applications based on case studies. Most specifically, students will be exposed to water quantity and issues from global to regional scales and how human and natural processes affect water availability in surface and groundwater systems. (Note: water quality issues will be mentioned but only briefly since they will be covered more extensively in the following course: BSPHU6220 “Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology)

Table of Contents


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