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The main area of study in this subject is the broad examination of what maintains present climate and the manner in which the relevant processes may change into the future.
The topics to be covered in the subject include the global distributions of mean climatological parameters in present climate and their interconnections. Mechanisms of atmospheric instability, including baroclinicity. Maintenance of the global energy and angular momentum budgets and the roles of eddies. Radiative influences on global climate, especially variations in solar activity, carbon dioxide and methane. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane budgets and the Greenhouse Effect. Modelling of climate change and the use of emission scenarios. Interpretation and statistical analysis of future-climate scenarios and the use of ensemble simulations.
Intended learning outcomes
The objectives of this subject are to present an integrated description and analysis of the present state of global climate, and of the potential changes to it. The objectives will include investigations of the complex instability and feedback mechanisms which are intimately associated with climate variability and change.
On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills: An ability to think critically on how present climate arises and of the its sensitivity to a range of forcings.
Last updated: 12 May 2020