Harlan Paul Johnson
Evolution of an idea or concept central to the natural sciences. Intended for non-science majors. Content varies from year to year. For University Honors Program students only. Offered: W.
Course Content: Climate Extremes Oceanography 450 and Honors 221C Winter Quarter, 2014
This course examines the earth's past for evidence of extreme climate conditions in order to better understand possible future climate changes. Conditions that occurred during the Neo-Proterozoic (Snowball Earth: 750 to 550 million years ago), the Cretaceous Hothouse (100 million years ago, and Pleistocene Icehouse (1 million years ago) will be compared to the Present Day Greenhouse climate.
Dramatic changes in the earth's climate has resulted from natural variations in solar insolation, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, rates of ocean circulation, plate tectonics and volcanic activity, the evolution of vascular plants and, in recent times, the burning of fossil fuels. The impact of these factors on climate, through interactions between the atmosphere, oceans and land, will be discussed.
Importantly, the processes that produced past climate changes will be discussed in the context of modern impending climate change.
One class period per week will be spent in class discussion of an important published scientific paper on Climate. Problem sets, stressing quantitative solutions, will be given as take home assignments during the quarter. Honors students will work in multi-student teams on a project to quantify the CO2 emissions from the City of Seattle. These emissions are responsible for the CO2 ‘dome’ that overlies most large urban areas.
Climatic Extremes Oceanography 450: Winter Quarter, 2014: SLN 17655 4 credits M, W, Th, F at 11:30 to 12:20 also Honors 221C: SLN 14913 5 credits Room 205 Ocean Teaching Building Web address: https://catalyst.uw.edu/workspace/paulj/13956/ Instructors: Paul Johnson (543-8474) Steve Emerson (543-0428) Teaching Assistant: Megan Gambs (543-8543)
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