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  3. Climate Analysis and Modelling

Climate Analysis and Modelling (ATOC90006)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5Not available in 2018

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Year of offerNot available in 2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeATOC90006
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The course introduces students to the philosophy and techniques of the quantitative analysis of weather and climate data, and modelling the large-scale atmospheric system. Among the topics to be covered are the maintenance of the general circulation of the atmosphere, a discussion of the global energy balance and momentum balance, and the role of baroclinic eddies and the meridional circulation. The subject will also cover the growth of error in numerical models and its implications for predictability and climate simulation, as well as an introduction to the structure of General Circulation Models (GCMs) and an appraisal of their simulations of climate. Other parts will include an examination of the philosophy of the design and implementation of climate sensitivity experiments with GCMs. Also covered will be an introduction to the statistical foundations for the analysis of observed and simulated data (including spectral methods, Principal Component Analysis, Monte-Carlo testing, non-parametric tests, trend analysis, the t-test). Other topics to be covered will include the climatology of ozone and the ozone hole, and the mechanics and variability of the ‘semi-annual oscillation’ and the ‘southern annular mode’ and the relevance of these to climate change.

Intended learning outcomes

The objectives of this subject are to provide students with:

  • up to date knowledge of current research topics in climate analysis and modelling;
  • experience in critical synthesis and assessment of the current literature;
  • an appreciation of the strengths and limitations of different approaches to modelling complex data.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students will have gained experience in:

  • developing the ability to exercise critical judgement;
  • rigorous and independent thinking;
  • adopting a problem-solving approach to complex or ambiguous questions;
  • high-level written report presentation skills;
  • oral communication and presentation skills.

Last updated: 01 March 2018