Atmospheric Sciences 1020 Climate Change: An Atmospheric Perspective
Fall Semester 2022
Meeting MWF 10:45-11:35. Course is IVC meaning that we meet at the above times via Zoom but all content of lectures will posted on canvas (attendance during lectures will not be monitored)

Purpose of Course: Develop skill in distinguishing sound theory from conjecture, good from bad science, and reasoned argument from unreasoned opinion as these pertain to the changing climate of Earth.

Instructor: Dr. Jay Mace, Office: 601 WBB, Cell Phone: 801-201-7944; Office Hours - Anytime with a bit of advance notice

Course Philosophy and Objectives:

Atmospheric Sciences 1020 is designed to introduce students of all backgrounds to the science of planetary climate around a sun-like star. There are no prerequisites. We will begin by considering the essence of science which is skepticsm. What does it mean to be skeptical? How does skepticism fuel scientific progress? We will then explore how the uneven distribution of energy that ultimately defines a planet's climate and how seemingly innocuous changes to atmospheric composition can interrupt the delicate balances within a climate system. Along the way, we will discuss basic meteorology and just enough atmospheric physics to understand the factors that govern global energy balance. Then, we will use that new understanding to explore the possibility that planets in distant solar systems might be habitable like Earth. Eventually, using the past as analog, we will consider how the earth's climate will change during the coming centuries and what the implications might be for the planet's ecosystems.

Major topics include:

How can small changes to a minor gas influence the climate of a planet?

How has Earth responded to CO2 doubling in the past?

How long will it take for the Earth to return to normal?

What are the chances that Earth-like planets exist around other stars?

Course Format:

A blend of lectures, projects, and hands-on exercises relevant to climate change via the IVC format. Grades will be determined 75% from biweekly quizzes that will be multiple choice and posted in advance on Canvas. The remaining 25% will come from completion of class assignments that will be posted on canvas approximately biweekly. All graded quizzes and assignemnts can reference any source material and can be done in collaboration with others in the class.

Atmos 1020 will be Fully Online:

Atmos 1020 will be taught using the IVC format during Fall 2022. Lectures and class interaction will be via Zoom at set times but also recorded and posted on Canvas. I will use the Canvas for assingments, quizzes, etc.