Clouds and Climate

The Romps Group at the University of California, Berkeley

EPS 7, Introduction to Climate Change, Fall 2018
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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.
Participation 10% (every class, starting 8/29)
Homework 20% (on bCourses, due weekly)
Midterm I 20% (September 26, in class)
Midterm II 20% (November 2, in class)
Final 30% (December 13, 3-6, 245 Li Ka Shing)
iClicker+ or iClicker2 required (no Reef)
First lecture to use iClickers will be August 29
4 points per question for participation, 1 point for correct answer
The three days with the lowest scores will be dropped
Only one iClicker per student
Students are responsible for own clickers, batteries, etc.
Order iClicker+ from Cal Student Store
Order iClicker+ from Amazon
Order iClicker2 from Amazon
David Romps (
Jacob Seeley (
Nathaniel Tarshish (
Reader office hours
Tuesdays, 11-12, 265 McCone Hall
Wednesdays, 4-5, 265 McCone Hall
Professor office hours
Mondays, 3-4, 377 McCone Hall


08/22, Joule and Watt: A tale of two Jameses
08/24, Energy on the move: How it gets from A to B
08/27, Fun with units: Meters and thermometers
08/29, Wien's law: The color of light
08/31, Stefan-Boltzmann law: You are glowing, literally
09/5, Mercury: Warm and toasty
09/7, Mars: A little chilly
09/10, Earth's atmosphere: What is it?
09/12, Clausius-Clapeyron: Water, water, everywhere
09/14, Lapse rate: It is cold up here!
09/17, Radiative transfer: Gases glow, too
09/19, Greenhouse gases: The Earth's clothing
09/21, Discovery of global warming: A short history
09/24, Forcing and feedback: Your best life now
09/26, Midterm I
    09/28, Earth's feedbacks: Calculating climate sensitivity
    10/1, Cloud taxonomy: Name that cloud
    10/3, Fossil fuels: Where did this stuff come from?
    10/5, Drill baby drill: How much have we burned?
    10/8, Evidence of warming: Is it getting hot in here?
    10/10, Ocean acidification: Where does the carbon go?
    10/12, Climate models: Supercomputers to the rescue
    10/15, The IPCC: How to win a Nobel Prize
    10/17, Other gases: Laughing gas and hairspray
    10/19, Scary feedbacks: Stuff that could burn
    10/22, Paleoclimate: The past as guide to the future
    10/24, Ice and sea level: Where to invest in property
    10/26, Superstorms: The revenge of Clausius-Clapeyron
    10/29, Future Earth: Spacesuits required
    10/31, Biomass power: Enough room for food and fuel?
    11/2, Midterm II
      11/5, Hydro power: What is left to harness?
      11/7, Nuclear power: Too costly and dangerous?
      11/9, Wind power: Mining the sky
      11/14, Solar power: Ready to save the day?
      11/16, Domestic policy: CPP, ITC, PTC, alphabet soup
      11/19, International agreements: Rio, Kyoto, and Paris
      11/26, Carbon tax: The simple policy solution
      11/28, Who obstructs action: Follow the money
      11/30, Climate rights movement: What will your role be?
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      Courses  EPS 290, Topics in Atmospheric Dynamics, Fall 2018