10-12:15 Room: CSS 2416
Credits: 3 Instructor: Prof. Ning Zeng Course
This course is really about Global Environmental Change.
It's about changes that are of global scale or of global implication.
instance, we will talk more about climate change than air pollution.
Background of the global environment: climate, biosphere,
biogeochemical cycles, geophysics. Natural variabilities on
shorter timescales (ENSO etc.). Changes throughout the Earth's history
(the rise of oxygen, glaciations, extinctions, Gaia Hypothesis,
...). Climate change and ancient civilizations. Human induced
environmental changes: global warming, sea-level rise, ozone depletion,
loss of biodiversity. Impacts of global environmental change on economy
and society. Future of Energy. Engineering and policy options to combat
climate and environmental changes.
The course has broad scope, but we will focus on selected specific
issues, partly depending on students' interest. In particular, students
will read selected chapters of the upcoming IPCC Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report and present it to the
class. There will also be a course project.
1. A survey of the global environment (1-2 weeks)
Weather and climate
2. Processes underlying the natural variability (3 weeks)
3. Short-term variability (1 week)
Disturbances such as fire
4. Environmental changes in the past (3 weeks)
Holocene: environmental change and the rise and fall
Last 500 million years and beyond
5 Human induced changes I (1 week)
Acid rain, Ozone
6. Human induced changes II: global warming (3-4 weeks)
7. Impact of climate change on future energy use and options (1-2 weeks)
Rnewable energy resources
9. Geoengineering (1 week)
Students will be evaluated based on two in-class quiz, 1-2
reading/presentation, and a hands-on project.
Reference books (no
required text book)
The Earth System, Second Edition (Paperback)
by Lee R. Kump, James F. Kasting, Robert G. Crane
Earth's Climate: Past and Future
Prof. Ning Zeng
Office: CSS 2421
405-5377 Fax: (301) 314-9482
Fridays from 12:15 or by appointment