Climate
Dynamics (METEO 470, 3 credits)
Course
Syllabus for Spring 2018
Instructor: Michael E. Mann,
Department of Meteorology, 514 Walker Building, mann@psu.edu
(office hours: Wed 1:002:15 PM)
TA: Yuting He, 413 Walker Building, yzh120@psu.edu (office hours: Mon 2:003:30 PM)
Meeting Time/Place: Tu/Th 10:3511:50 AM (214 Hammond)
Office Hours: You are encouraged to use email for questions when possible. You are welcome to visit my office for questions during scheduled office hours (Wed 1:002:15 PM), or by appointment.
Motivation:
In order to under and model the climate system, we need to understand the balance of energy within the climate system as well as the dynamics of the underlying components of the climate system, including the atmosphere and ocean, and the mechanisms by which these components may be coupled. Topics discussed will include global energy balance, including zero and onedimensional models of radiative equilibrium, the role of the ocean circulation including the thermohaline and winddriven components, the El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), internal and forced climate variability, and climate change.
Prerequisites: Meteo 300, Meteo 421, and Meteo 431
You are expected to be familiar with the governing equations (momentum and energy conservation, continuity, and equation of state) of the atmosphere on a sphere.
It is also assumed that you have satisfied the statistics requirement for the Meteorology major and therefore are familiar with basic statistical concepts including linear regression.
Webpage
We will regularly draw upon the course homepage as a resource for the course:
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/courses/METEO470SPR18/index.html
Aside from links to the course syllabus, there will be links to the readings, problem sets, slides from the lectures, and other courserelated materials.
Lectures
Attendance of all lectures is expected. You are strongly encouraged to ask questions and participate constructively in class. Copies of slides from the lectures will usually be made available electronically through the course website before or shortly following the lecture.
Textbook
There is no required textbook. Some students might find Peixoto & Oort “Physics of Climate” a useful reference (it has been placed on reserve in the EMS library).
Supplementary readings from various sources will be posted on the course website.
Grading
Problem Sets
(50%): There will be 6 problem sets
assigned that will involve applications of topics covered in class. You may discuss the problems with each other,
but the problem set you turn in should reflect your own individual effort. We
will frequently make use MATLAB for assignments (MATLAB is available on the
Meteorology Computer Lab Computers)
MidTerm Exam
(20%): There will be an inclass
midterm examination roughly midway through the semester (Feb 23).
Final Exam
(30%): There will a final
examination for the course at the scheduled time and date.
Grade
Scale: A: 92100%; A: 8891%; B+: 8487%; B: 8083%; B: 7579%; C+: 7174%;
C: 6370%; D: 5062%; F: <50%
Lecture Schedule (tentative and subject to change):

DATE 
LECTURE TOPIC 
ASSIGNMENT 
1 
T Jan 9 
Introduction 



Module 1: Climate Data and Statistics 

2 
R Jan 11 
Normal Distribution 
PS1 Assigned 
T Jan 16 
No Class 


3 
R Jan 18 
Autocorrelation 

4 
T Jan 23 
RegressionTrends 

5 
R Jan 25 
RegressionStatistical Modeling 



Module 2: ZeroDimensional Energy Balance Model 

6 
T Jan 30 
Global Energy Balance; Greenhouse Effect 
PS1 Due 
7 
R Feb 1 
Modeling Historical Temperature Changes and Climate Sensitivity 
PS2 Assigned 
8 
T Feb 6 
Projecting Future Warming 

G1 
R Feb 8 
Guest: Antarctica
& Sea Level Rise (Dave Pollard/Don Voigt) 

Module 3: OneDimensional Energy Balance Model 


9 
T Feb 13 
Meridional Energy Balance 

G2 
R Feb 15 
Guest: Climate
change & Tropical Cyclones (Jenni Evans) 

G3 
T Feb 20 
Guest: Ethics of Climate Change
(Peter Buckland) 

R Feb 22 
[canceled guest lecture] 
PS2 Due 


T Feb 27 
Midterm 

10 
R Mar 1 
Atmospheric heat transport 
PS3 Assigned 

T Mar 6 
No Class [Spring Break] 


R Mar 8 
No Class [Spring Break] 

11 
T Mar 13 
Snowball Earth; Hysteresis 



Module 4: Role of Ocean Circulation 

12 
R Mar 15 
The Stommel Box Model of the AMOC 

T Mar 20 
No Class 
PS3 Due 

13 
R Mar 22 
“The Day After Tomorrow” scenario; the PDO 
PS4 Assigned 
14 
T Mar 27 
Stommel Model of Ocean Gyre 

G4 
R Mar 29 
Guest: Climate Change in West Africa (Greg Jenkins) 

15 
T Apr 3 
Ocean Gyres and Heat Transport; The Pacific Decadal Oscillation 

Module 5: El Nino/Southern Oscillation 

16 
R Apr 5 
ENSO basics 
PS4 Due; PS5
Assigned 
17 
T Apr 10 
The DelayedOscillator Model 

18 
R Apr 12 
The CaneZebiak Model; Skype Discussion w/ special guest 

19 
T Apr 17 
Climate Change & El Nino 
PS5 Due; PS6
Assigned 
Module 6: Climate Modeling and Climate Change 

20 
R Apr 19 
ThreeDimensional Coupled Climate Models 

21 
T Apr 24 
Anthropogenic Climate Change 

22 
R Apr 26 
Anthropogenic Climate Change 
PS6 Due 