Description
This course will investigate the following questions from a mathematical perspective. What determines the Earth's surface temperature? Why does the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affect the climate? How do changes in the Earth's orbital parameters change the climate? Why has the Earth cycled through ice ages for the last million years?
Mathematical topics will include: basic energy balance models, the Earth's orbital dynamics, an introduction to paleoclimate models, and basics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere.
Prerequisites are two years of calculus, including differential equations and linear algebra, and consent of the instructor. This course will count as an upper-division MATH course toward the undergraduate mathematics major programs. No background in climate science will be assumed, but some knowledge of basic classical physics (e.g., conservation of energy) will be helpful.
Although the course is aimed at undergraduate mathematics majors, other majors are welcome. The course also carries graduate credit both for mathematics students and for students from other departments. |