[winter course] OCEAN 450: Climatic Extremes

note that this course – if taken in winter 2018 only – will be applied to the ‘Oceanography Elective’ requirement of the Marine Biology Minor. We are expanding our normal elective list due to shortfall in biological oceanography courses this academic year.

Climatic Extremes Oceanography 450

Winter Quarter, 2017­   SLN:18580
4 credits     M, W, Th, F at 2:30 to 3:20
also offered as Honors 221D:   5 credits    SLN:15431
Room 425 Ocean ​Science

Class Web Page: https://canvas.uw.edu/courses/1114052/files

Instructors: Paul Quay (pdquay@uw.edu): Paul Johnson (johnson@ocean.washington.edu)

Course Content:   

To better understand the key factors that control the earth’s present and future climate, this course examines episodes in the earth’s past when extreme climate conditions existed. Dramatic changes in the earth’s climate have resulted from natural variations in solar insolation, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, rates and pathways of ocean circulation, plate tectonics, and the evolution of vascular plants and, in modern times, the burning of fossil fuels. The impact of these factors on climate through interactions between the atmosphere, oceans and land will be evaluated.

The processes that produced past climate changes will be discussed primarily as a framework to evaluate modern and future climate change resulting from human activity.

The class will utilize lectures, in-class problem solving, discussion of scientific papers and weekly homeworks to learn the material on both a qualitative and quantitative level.  Students are expected to have had sufficient science-based coursework to feel comfortable solving quantitative in-class and homework problems using basic algebra and using the spreadsheet program Excel.  Honors students will work as multi-student teams on separate projects to quantify the impact of human CO2 emissions on local and regional climate change.