Teaching

EPS 7, Introduction to Climate Change, Fall 2017

Overview

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.

Time
M W F, 2:00-3:00
Location
245 Li Ka Shing
Required text
None
Readings will be posted online.
Prerequisites
None
Grading
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)
Professor
David Romps (romps@berkeley.edu)
Readers
Jake Seeley (jseeley@berkeley.edu)
Ben Fildier (benjamin.fildier@berkeley.edu)
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

Syllabus

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?