Climate Modeling Class Syllabus

ATMS/ESS 559 / OCEAN 558
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:30 - 11:50, in OSN 425


This course will teach the fundamentals of climate modeling. Students will learn about their opperation and how to run models and apply them to research problems.


Cecilia Bitz
Phone: (206) 543-1339
Office:  ATG 502
Office hours: by appointment.
LuAnne Thompson
phone: (206) 543-9965
office: OCN 317
Office hours: by appointment.

Our Class Web Site is a Wiki
We would be delighted if you add to the resources on the wiki.

Assignments and Grading

There will be about 5 homework assignments in the first 8 weeks to reinforce quantitative understanding of the lecture and reading materials. 
There will be a final project with a presentation in the last week of class and paper due early in finals week. Final grades will be comprised of homework (60%) and a final project (40%).

No text book is required because most required readings will be from journal articles. The best text books on climate modeling are Washington and Parkinson (somewhat technical) and McGuffie and Henderson-Sellers (mostly descriptive). Hartmann's  Global Physical Climatology textbook covers most of the climate science basics.  A longer book list is given on the Wiki web page.

Class meetings will be composed of lectures and discussions.  Keep up with the reading to make the most of lectures. Lecture notes will be available after class and copies of the figures from the lectures will be available in class.  Occasionally class time will be devoted to discussion of journal articles.  For each articles that will be discussed, we require that you send in two questions or comments about the article the to the instructors by 8AM the day of the class discussion.

Strategies for Success

The background of students is diverse in this class and the subject is enormous, so the instructors can only provide a survey. Students need to take the initiative to find help for particular topics unfamiliar or confusing.  Lecture notes will be provided but students should take additional notes in class. Whenever computers are involved, things are bound to go wrong. Start your computing assignments early. Use the wiki to share problems and solutions. If you can't solve your computing woes within about an hour, ask the instructors for help (Cecilia especially).