12.300 Global Change Science

Course Outline: Fall 2002

Rm. 54-1615, Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30-4:00 pm

Sept.  Introduction to global change (Stone)
10 Tropical deforestation: observations and socioeconomic causes (Eltahir) 
12 Tropical deforestation: carbon cycle (Eltahir)
17 Tropical deforestation: land surface hydroilogy; water and energy balance (Eltahir)
19  Tropical deforestation: role of vegetation; observations from the Amazon (Eltahir)
24  Tropical deforestation: atmospheric dynamics and rainfall (Eltahir)
26 Tropical deforestation: impact on rainfall (Eltahir)
Oct.  Tropical deforestation: climatology and monsoon circulations (Eltahir)
Groundwater:  sustainability of groundwater resources; observations of depletion and pollution (Eltahir)
8 Groundwater: flow of water in porous media (Eltahir)
10  Groundwater: models of aquifer flow (Eltahir)
15 No Class-holiday (Eltahir)
17  One-hour Quiz
22  Global climate: record of past changes and current trends (Stone)
24  Global climate: components of the system; heat balanc (Stone)
29  Global climate: radiative feedbacks (Stone)
31  No Class
Nov.  5 Global climate: heat balance models (Stone)
Global climate: radiative-convective equilibrium models (Stone)
12  Global climate: sensitivity of temperature to CO2 increases; role of different feedbacks (Stone)
14 Global climate: transient climate changes; sea-level changes (Stone)
19 Global climate: ocean circulation and associated feedbacks (Stone)
21 One-hour Quiz
26 General circulation models: construction, limitations, and evaluation (Stone)
28 No class-holiday
Dec.  General circulation models: model sensitivities; projected climate changes (Stone)
General circulation models: impact of tropical deforestation (Eltahir)
18 3-hour FINAL EXAM

You can get a feeling for the effect of the uncertainties that are involved in climate modelling by running a 1D-climate model. Detailed explanations for this model will be given in class.

Credit:  graded problem sets (~5): 40 %
two 1-hour quizzes (15 % each)
final exam (30 % )
Faculty:  Prof. P. Stone, Rm 54-1718, Ext. 3-2443, phstone@mit.edu.
Prof. E. Eltahir, Rm 48-207, Ext. 3-6596, eltahir@mit.edu.
Teaching Assistant:  Kerim Nisancioglu, Rm 54-1715, Ext. 3-3715, kerim@mit.edu.

Kerim Nisancioglu
M.I.T. Room 54-1715