MT38A-The Global Circulation

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: MT24A Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics MT24B Atmospheric Physics
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr David Brayshaw

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

Summary module description:

A classroom based module in which students learn how to describe the physical origin of the major dynamical features of the atmospheric circulation.


Aims:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the major features of the global circulation of the atmosphere, with reference to the physical and dynamical concepts introduced in earlier modules. 


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module the student should 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 physically 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.



Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here https://reading.rl.talis.com/departments/mps_met.html


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:

Non-assessed problem sheet to be completed during the module. 


Penalties for late submission:


You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    NA.


    Requirements for a pass:

    40% overall.


    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-assessment by exam in August


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books: 2) Specialist equipment or materials: 3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 4) Printing and binding: 5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: A personal laptop which can run Python is recommended but not required  6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:


    Last updated: 7 July 2017

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