Clouds and Climate

The Romps Group at the University of California, Berkeley

EPS 7, Introduction to Climate Change, Fall 2017
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This course covers the physical processes that determine Earth's past, present, and future climate, with a particular focus on the essentially irreversible climate change (a.k.a., global warming) caused by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. Topics will also include the estimation of future warming and impacts, the Earth resources that can be used to combat climate change, and the policies being used to shift towards the use of those resources.

M W F, 2:00-3:00
245 Li Ka Shing
Required text
Readings will be posted online.
Homework 30% (due weekly or biweekly)
Midterm I 20% (September 27, in class)
Midterm II 20% (November 3, in class)
Final 30% (December 12, 11:30-2:30, 245 Li Ka Shing)
David Romps (
Jake Seeley (
Ben Fildier (
Reader office hours
Last names A-L: Tuesdays, 1-2, 265 McCone Hall
Last names M-Z: Fridays, 11-12, 265 McCone Hall
Professor office hours
Mondays, 3-4, 377 McCone Hall


08/23, Joule and Watt: A tale of two Jameses
    08/25, Energy on the move: How it gets from A to B
      08/28, Fun with units: Meters and thermometers
        08/30, Wien's law: The color of light
          09/1, Stefan-Boltzmann law: You are glowing, literally
            09/6, Mercury: Warm and toasty
              09/8, Mars: A little chilly
                09/11, Earth's atmosphere: What is it?
                  09/13, Clausius-Clapeyron: Water, water, everywhere
                    09/15, Lapse rate: It is cold up here!
                      09/18, Radiative transfer: Gases glow, too
                        09/20, Greenhouse gases: The Earth's clothing
                          09/22, Discovery of global warming: A short history
                            09/25, Forcing and feedback: Your best life now
                              09/27, Midterm I
                                09/29, Earth's feedbacks: Calculating climate sensitivity
                                  10/2, Cloud taxonomy: Name that cloud
                                    10/4, Fossil fuels: Where did this stuff come from?
                                      10/6, Drill baby drill: How much have we burned?
                                        10/9, Evidence of warming: Is it getting hot in here?
                                          10/11, Ocean acidification: Where does the carbon go?
                                            10/13, Climate models: Supercomputers to the rescue
                                              10/16, The IPCC: How to win a Nobel Prize
                                                10/18, Other gases: Laughing gas and hairspray
                                                  10/20, Scary feedbacks: Stuff that could burn
                                                    10/23, Paleoclimate: The past as guide to the future
                                                      10/25, Ice and sea level: Where to invest in property
                                                        10/27, Superstorms: The revenge of Clausius-Clapeyron
                                                          10/30, Future Earth: Spacesuits required
                                                            11/1, Biomass power: Enough room for food and fuel?
                                                              11/3, Midterm II
                                                                11/6, Hydro power: What is left to harness?
                                                                  11/8, Nuclear power: Too costly and dangerous?
                                                                    11/13, Wind power: Mining the sky
                                                                      11/15, Solar power: Ready to save the day?
                                                                        11/17, Domestic policy: CPP, ITC, PTC, alphabet soup
                                                                          11/20, International agreements: Rio, Kyoto, and Paris
                                                                            11/27, Carbon tax: The simple policy solution
                                                                              11/29, Who obstructs action: Follow the money
                                                                                12/1, Climate rights movement: What will your role be?


                                                                                  1. See bCourses for homework
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                                                                                  EPS 290, Topics in Atmospheric Dynamics, Spring 2018  EPS 290, Topics in Atmospheric Dynamics, Fall 2017