EPS 7, Introduction to Climate Change, Summer A 2024

EPS 7 is online in summer session A of 2024. The lectures and exams will be on bCourses. The lectures will be asynchronous: they will post at the regular class time, but you can watch them at your leisure. On the other hand, the exams on bCourses will be synchronous: you must log in online at the specified time.

Note that this course covers the same material as the semester-long version of EPS 7, but in a third the time. Therefore, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will contain the same amount of content as a week of the semester-long version. This also means that homework assigned on a Monday is due on Wednesday just two days later, and likewise for homework assigned on Wednesdays and Fridays. And late homework is not accepted, so this summer course requires a high level of uninterrupted effort. Even with this intensity, however, the course will be just as much fun as the semester-long version!


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.

Fridays 2:00-3:00 for exams
Lectures released mornings of M, W, and F
In the bCourses Media Gallery
Required text
Readings will be posted online
Homework 30% (on bCourses, due every M, W, and F)
Midterm I 20% (on bCourses, May 31, 2pm Pacific)
Midterm II 20% (on bCourses, June 14, 2pm Pacific)
Final 30% (on bCourses, June 28, 2pm Pacific)
Letter grades are 90-100% for an A, 80-90% for a B, 70-80% for a C, etc., with each decile split into equal thirds to determine + and -.
Late homework is not accepted
To avoid zeros, aim to submit every assignment well before its deadline
Exams are closed-book
Taking of regularly scheduled exams is mandatory
Only exception is documented medical incapacitation
Do not enroll if unable to attend the exams
All course materials are copyrighted
This includes lectures, slides, videos, homework, and exams
Course materials are for your own use; they may not be distributed
Distribution or posting of course material is a violation of law and University policy
To avoid sanctions, do not put course material on websites or cloud services
Honor code
"As a member of the UCB community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others."
The honor code is taken seriously in EPS 7
Academic misconduct or a violation of course policy will result in sanctions
Professor (romps@berkeley.edu)
David Romps
Readers (eps7help@gmail.com)
Toireasa-Marie O'Rourke
Ryan Yohler
Office hours
Log into Zoom with your @berkeley.edu account using the SSO login
Monday, 12-1 Pacific, Ryan, Zoom room: 468 9723 434
Monday, 2-3 Pacific, Professor Romps, Zoom room: 934 5798 5513
Tuesday, 12-1 Pacific, Ryan, Zoom room: 468 9723 434
Tuesday, 5-6 Pacific, Toireasa-Marie, Zoom room: 923 8218 423
Wednesday, 2-3 Pacific, Professor Romps, Zoom room: 934 5798 5513
Thursday, 12-1 Pacific, Ryan, Zoom room: 468 9723 434
Thursday, 5-6 Pacific, Toireasa-Marie, Zoom room: 923 8218 423
Friday, 2-3 Pacific, Professor Romps, Zoom room: 934 5798 5513
Sunday, 11-12 Pacific, Toireasa-Marie, Zoom room: 923 8218 423


Joule and Watt: A tale of two Jameses
Energy on the move: How it gets from A to B
Fun with units: Meters and thermometers
Homework 1 assigned
Wien's law: The color of light
Stefan-Boltzmann law: You are glowing, literally
Mercury: Warm and toasty
Homework 1 due
Homework 2 assigned
Mars: A little chilly
Earth's atmosphere: What is it?
Clausius-Clapeyron: Water, water, everywhere
Homework 2 due
Homework 3 assigned
No class
Lapse rate: It is cold up here!
Radiative transfer: Gases glow, too
Greenhouse gases: The Earth's clothing
Homework 3 due
Homework 4 assigned
Midterm 1
Discovery of global warming: A short history
Forcing and feedback: Your best life now
Earth's feedbacks: Calculating climate sensitivity
Homework 4 due
Homework 5 assigned
Cloud taxonomy: Name that cloud
Fossil fuels: Where did this stuff come from?
Drill baby drill: How much have we burned?
Evidence of warming: Is it getting hot in here?
Homework 5 due
Homework 6 assigned
Ocean acidification: Where does the carbon go?
Climate models: Supercomputers to the rescue
The IPCC: How to win a Nobel Prize
Homework 6 due
Homework 7 assigned
Other gases: Laughing gas and hairspray
Scary feedbacks: Stuff that could burn
Paleoclimate: The past as guide to the future
Homework 7 due
Homework 8 assigned
Ice and sea level: Where to invest in property
Superstorms: The revenge of Clausius-Clapeyron
Future Earth: Spacesuits required
Homework 8 due
Homework 9 assigned
Midterm 2
Biomass power: Enough room for food and fuel?
Hydro power: What is left to harness?
Nuclear power: Too costly and dangerous?
Homework 9 due
Homework 10 assigned
No class
Wind power: Mining the sky
Solar power: Ready to save the day?
Domestic policy: ITC, PTC, alphabet soup
Homework 10 due
Homework 11 assigned
International agreements: Rio, Kyoto, and Paris
Carbon tax: The simple policy solution
Who obstructs action: Follow the money
Climate rights movement: What will your role be?
Homework 11 due
Homework 12 assigned
No class
Homework 12 due