Study Abroad and Exchanges



GEO3142 : Weather, Climate Science & Modelling (Inactive)

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


-To gain the mechanistic understanding of the key processes that operates in the Earth’s weather and climate system in the post-industrial period.

-To understand the basic principle of climate modelling in order to assess the likely climatic conditions of the past and future.

Outline Of Syllabus

Key concepts of Weather and Climate Systems

Essence of weather and climate systems (~12 hours)

We focus on a physical understanding oft the climate system.
•       What is the weather and climate system
•       Brief history of meteorology and climatology
•       Energy transfer in space, atmosphere, ocean, and land
•       Practical exercise: distance from sun and planetary albedo
•       Physical characteristics of dry air
•       Nature of the water and its unusual characteristics
•       Mass, weight, pressure, and hydrostatic balance
•       Heat transfer by radiation, absorption, conduction and convection
•       Static stability of atmosphere
•       Cloud formation
•       Chicken and egg problem of jets and eddies

Planetary-scale motions in the atmosphere and oceans (~12 hours)

We learn the scientific description of the weather and climate system.
•       Mapping: how can we visualise the Earth fairly?
•       General circulation of the atmosphere
•       Basic terminologies for fluid motions
•       Key concepts in Geophysical and Planetary Fluid Dynamics
•       Ocean: structure and circulation patterns
•       Chicken and egg problem of Coupled Atmosphere-Ocean system.
•       Introduction to Geophysical and Planetary Fluid Dynamics

Numerical modelling of weather forecast and climate projection (~8 hours)

We lean the concepts of climate modelling and their scientific value.
•       Popular Greenhouse gas warning model and more useful ones.
•       Simple models of the climate system (assessed practical)
•       Concepts of “climate forcing” components
•       Concept of General Circulation Model and its evolution
•       Role of GCM ensemble and uncertainty in IPCC reports

Global cycles in the climate system (~4 hours)
1.       Nutshell of Energy Balance, Water Cycle, and Carbon Cycle
2.       Humans and Climate Change
3.       Surgery

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture341:0034:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

-The use of lecture format is suitable to promote self-disciplined reading and writing habit of Stage 3 students.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M30Spreadsheet-based modelling exercise and brief discussion – 1200 words
Essay1M702500 word essay from a list of choices
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prof skill assessmnt1MIn-class discussions
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In order to understand the weather and climate system and its likely changes in the future, students must be able to gain solid scientific knowledge of current condition. Moreover, past records play a crucial role to test the performance of the realistic model, which was typically tuned to simulate current condition. Therefore, gaining a basic understanding of the quantitative modelling is crucial for this module.

Once basic concept and procedures of modelling are understood, students will lean that the direction of future climate will be highly influenced by the decision of current residents of the Earth, especially the policy makers. Therefore, high weight (70%) of essay is suitable to demonstrate their mechanistic understanding and choices for the future.

Reading Lists