11:670:461 Climate Dynamics

revised again, October 10, 2015


Prerequisites: 11:670:324 DYNAMICS OF THE ATMOSPHERE and 11:670:431 PHYSICAL METEOROLOGY

Required Text:

Goosse, Hugues, 2015: Climate System Dynamics and Modelling, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK), 378 pp.

Earlier edition: Goosse, H., P.Y. Barriat, W. Lefebvre, M.F. Loutre, and V. Zunz, 2010:  Introduction to climate dynamics and climate modelling.  Online textbook available at http://www.climate.be/textbook

Reference Texts:


The Copenhagen Diagnosis

Other climate textbooks:

Pierrehumbert, Raymond T., 2010:  Principles of Planetary Climate, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK), 680 pp.

Neelin, J. David, 2011:  Climate change and climate modeling, (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge), 282 pp.

Archer, David, and Raymond Pierrehumbert (Editors), 2011:  The Warming Papers, The Scientific Foundation for the Climate Change Forecast, (Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK), 419 pp.

Hartmann, Dennis L., 1994: Global Physical Climatology, (Academic Press, San Diego), 411 pp.
Home page for Physical Climatology at the University of Washington, taught by Prof. Hartmann using this book.

Peixoto, José P., and Abraham H. Oort, 1992: Physics of Climate, (American Institute of Physics, New York), 520 pp.

Trenberth, Kevin E., Ed., 1992: Climate System Modeling, (Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge), 788 pp.

For links to other important global warming source material, visit the US Global Change Research Program web page, http://www.globalchange.gov/

Learning Goals:

Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of anthropogenic impacts on atmospheric chemistry and climate and their potential environmental and societal consequences.
  2. Exhibit critical thinking when confronting new information.
  3. Communicate clearly orally and in writing, including by electronic means.
  4. Apply the mathematical and physical foundations of meteorology and climatology to solve problems using analytical and computational methods.


Professor Alan Robock
Room 225, Environmental and Natural Resources Building
Phone: 848-932-5751, E-mail: robock@envsci.rutgers.edu

Classes in Room 223, Environmental and Natural Resources Building
Monday and Thursday, 12:35 p.m. to 1:55 p.m.





Sept. 4


IPCC WG I Summary for Policymakers

Sept. 8, TUESDAY

Climate System - Atmosphere


Sept. 10

Climate System - Ocean


Sept. 14

Climate System - Ice and Land


Sept. 17

Climate Variability, El Niño, ENSO, QBO, AO

G5, Hansen et al. (2010), McPhaden et al. (2006), McPhaden (2015)

Sept. 21

IPCC, Reconstructing Past Climates


Sept. 24

Energy Balance


Sept. 28

Past Climate Change, Energy Balance

G5, G2

Oct. 1

Water and Carbon Cycles


Oct. 5

Water and Carbon Cycles  Term Paper Topic Due

 G2, Oki and Kanae (2006), Robock et al. (2000), Robock et al. (2003a)

Oct. 8

Water and Carbon Cycles


Oct. 12

No class

Oct. 15

Exam 1 


Oct. 19

Climate Modeling


Oct. 22

Radiative Forcing, Climate Feedbacks 


Oct. 26 Long-range Weather Forecasting see handouts
Oct. 29 Future Climate Scenarios, Global Warming  Term Paper Outline Due G6, AR5 WG I Technical Summary

Nov. 2

Global Warming


Nov. 5


Stratospheric Aerosol Geoengineering

Nov. 9

Policy Debate

AR5 WGII, Poland Coal, Carbon Offsets, Exxon report

Nov. 12

Volcanic Eruptions and Climate 

Robock (2000)

Nov. 16

Volcanic Eruptions and Climate


Nov. 19

Ozone Hole

Montreal Protocol, YouTube

Nov. 23 Nuclear Winter  Term Paper Due


Nov. 26



Nov. 30

World Climate Exercise   


Dec. 3

Term Paper Presentations


Dec. 7

Term Paper Presentations  
Dec. 10 Final Exam Review  
Dec. 21, noon - 3pm Final Exam  

*G = Chapter in Goosse

Course grade will be determined by:



Term paper

    30% (paper 20%, oral 10%)



Final exam




Prepared by Alan Robock (robock@envsci.rutgers.edu) - Last updated on October 10, 2015