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This subject addresses the fundamental processes that govern atmospheric and oceanic motion, and how these processes interact to control the weather and climate of the Earth. Topics include the fluid dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean, the scaling of the equations of motion, the shallow-water system, vorticity and divergence, buoyancy driven flows, and numerical modelling of atmospheric and oceanic flows.On completion of this subject, students should have an appreciation of the fundamental processes that govern atmospheric and oceanic motion and interactions on a range of time and spatial scales. A qualitative as well as quantitative understanding of the atmosphere is to be gained, with the substantial mathematical analyses covered during the subject. Students will also receive experience in constructing simplified models of the atmosphere and ocean.
Intended learning outcomes
This subject builds on the skills obtained in the first and second year subjects in atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and presents a quantitative treatment of atmospheric and oceanic dynamics. On completion of this subject students should have an understanding of the physical processes that govern atmospheric and oceanic motions on a range of time and spatial scales, and appreciate how these processes form the basis of atmospheric and oceanic models.
The subject builds on the skills obtained in the first and second year subjects in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. A focus of the subject is to enhance your ability to think critically of the importance of physical processes occurring in the atmosphere and ocean. The course will challenge you to see these media as an integrated whole, and extend your understanding of complex physical systems. It will also lead you to be able to carefully interpret the meaning and value of various types of data, and use computational techniques to further your understanding of the atmosphere / ocean system.
In the subject there is continuous assessment through the semester to allow you to be conscious of the level of new skills and understandings that you are gaining. Efficient management of your time is an important factor influencing your level of performance in these assessments and the final exam. It is important that you supplement the material in lectures and practical with your own exploration of the topics covered.
Last updated: 25 January 2020