MTMW20-Global Circulation of the Atmosphere & Ocean

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: MTMW11 Fluid Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Oceans
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr David Brayshaw

Email: d.j.brayshaw@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides an overview of the main observed large scale Features of the atmospheric and oceanic circulations, and of the simple dynamical theories rationalising them.

Aims:
To develop a knowledge and understanding of the large-scale circulation of the atmosphere and ocean.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module the student should be able to:

  • Describe and quantify aspects of the large-scale circulation of the atmosphere and ocean
  • Demonstrate understanding of relevant theoretical concepts and models.
  • Apply theoretical and modelling tools to analyse and physially interpret the behaviour of key aspects of the large scale atmospheric and ocean circulation.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
1 - Introduction to Planet Earth
Basic properties and circulation drivers (radiation, rotation).
Basic equations (momentum/vorticity, thermodynamic, mass conservation).
Composition and equations of state.
An overview of observes structure.

2 - Energy and angular momentum budgets
Budgets and fluxes/transports.
Decomposing fluxes: zonal and time averaging.
Energy: thermodynamic energy equation and adiabatic conservation properties, budgets and fluxes.
Angular momentum: budgets and fluxes.
Applications: Hadley Cell in the atmosphere; Thermohaline circulation of the oceans.
Other budgets.

3 - Ekman transports and wind driven ocean circulation
Ekman transports and pumping.
Sverdrup balance.
A simple model of the wind driven ocean circulation and its extensions.

4 - Rossby waves
Contrasting physical arguments for westward movement.
Ocean Rossby waves.
Atmospheric barotropic Rossby waves.
Stationary Rossby waves in the atmosphere.

5 - Extratropical storm tracks
Observation.
Why do storm tracks exist?
The meridonial circulation and the maintenance of the extra-tropical surface westerlies.
Climate variability and change.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and problem classes

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 15
Seminars 3
Guided independent study 82
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 10
Class test administered by School 90

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:
One non-assessed problem sheet to be completed during the module.

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
2 hour exam. Answer Question 1 and either Question 2 or 3.

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
For candidates who have failed, an opportunity to take a resit examination will be provided within the lifetime of the course.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here
https://reading.rl.talis.com/departments/mps_met.htmlhttps://reading.rl.talis.com/departments/mps_met.html

2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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