Search result: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2019

Atmospheric and Climate Science Master Information
Modules
Weather Systems and Atmospheric Dynamics
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-1224-00LMesoscale Atmospheric Systems - Observation and ModellingW2 credits2VH. Wernli, U. Germann
AbstractMesoscale meteorology focusing on processes relevant for the evolution of precipitation systems. Discussion of empirical and mathematical-physical models for, e.g., fronts and convective storms. Consideration of oceanic evaporation, transport and the associated physics of stable water isotopes. Introduction to weather radar being the widespread instrument for observing mesoscale precipitation.
ObjectiveBasic concepts of observational and theoretical mesoscale meteorology, including precipitation measurements and radar. Knowledge about the interpretation of radar images. Understanding of processes leading to the formation of fronts and convective storms, and basic knowledge on ocean evaporation and the physics of stable water isotopes.
701-1216-00LNumerical Modelling of Weather and Climate Information W4 credits3GC. Schär, N. Ban
AbstractThe course provides an introduction to weather and climate models. It discusses how these models are built addressing both the dynamical core and the physical parameterizations, and it provides an overview of how these models are used in numerical weather prediction and climate research. As a tutorial, students conduct a term project and build a simple atmospheric model using the language PYTHON.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course, students understand how weather and climate models are formulated from the governing physical principles, and how they are used for climate and weather prediction purposes.
ContentThe course provides an introduction into the following themes: numerical methods (finite differences and spectral methods); adiabatic formulation of atmospheric models (vertical coordinates, hydrostatic approximation); parameterization of physical processes (e.g. clouds, convection, boundary layer, radiation); atmospheric data assimilation and weather prediction; predictability (chaos-theory, ensemble methods); climate models (coupled atmospheric, oceanic and biogeochemical models); climate prediction. Hands-on experience with simple models will be acquired in the tutorials.
Lecture notesSlides and lecture notes will be made available at
Link
LiteratureList of literature will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: to follow this course, you need some basic background in atmospheric science, numerical methods (e.g., "Numerische Methoden in der Umweltphysik", 701-0461-00L) as well as experience in programming. Previous experience with PYTHON is useful but not required.
701-1226-00LInter-Annual Phenomena and Their Prediction Information W2 credits2GC. Appenzeller
AbstractThis course provides an overview of the current ability to understand and predict intra-seasonal and inter-annual climate variability in the tropical and extra-tropical region and provides insights on how operational weather and climate services are organized.
ObjectiveStudents will acquire an understanding of the key atmosphere and ocean processes involved, will gain experience in analyzing and predicting sub-seasonal to inter-annual variability and learn how operational weather and climate services are organised and how scientific developments can improve these services.
ContentThe course covers the following topics:

Part 1:
- Introduction, some basic concepts and examples of sub-seasonal and inter-annual variability
- Weather and climate data and the statistical concepts used for analysing inter-annual variability (e.g. correlation analysis, teleconnection maps, EOF analysis)

Part 2:
- Inter-annual variability in the tropical region (e.g. ENSO, MJO)
- Inter-annual variability in the extra-tropical region (e.g. Blocking, NAO, PNA, regimes)

Part 3:
- Prediction of inter-annual variability (statistical methods, ensemble prediction systems, monthly and seasonal forecasts, seamless forecasts)
- Verification and interpretation of probabilistic forecast systems
- Climate change and inter-annual variability

Part 4:
- Challenges for operational weather and climate services
- Role of weather and climate extremes
- Early warning systems
- A visit to the forecasting centre of MeteoSwiss
Lecture notesA pdf version of the slides will be available at
Link
LiteratureReferences are given during the lecture.
701-1228-00LCloud Dynamics: Hurricanes Information W4 credits3GU. Lohmann
AbstractHurricanes are among the most destructive elements in the atmosphere. This lecture will discuss the physical requirements for their formation, life cycle, damage potential and their relationship to global warming. It also distinguishes hurricanes from thunderstorms and tornadoes.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course students will be able to distinguish the formation and life cycle mechanisms of tropical cyclones from those of extratropical thunderstorms/cyclones, project how tropical cyclones change in a warmer climate based on their physics and evaluate different tropical cyclone modification ideas.
Lecture notesSlides will be made available
LiteratureA literature list can be found here: Link
Prerequisites / NoticeAt least one introductory lecture in Atmospheric Science or Instructor's consent.
Climate Processes and Feedbacks
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-1216-00LNumerical Modelling of Weather and Climate Information W4 credits3GC. Schär, N. Ban
AbstractThe course provides an introduction to weather and climate models. It discusses how these models are built addressing both the dynamical core and the physical parameterizations, and it provides an overview of how these models are used in numerical weather prediction and climate research. As a tutorial, students conduct a term project and build a simple atmospheric model using the language PYTHON.
ObjectiveAt the end of this course, students understand how weather and climate models are formulated from the governing physical principles, and how they are used for climate and weather prediction purposes.
ContentThe course provides an introduction into the following themes: numerical methods (finite differences and spectral methods); adiabatic formulation of atmospheric models (vertical coordinates, hydrostatic approximation); parameterization of physical processes (e.g. clouds, convection, boundary layer, radiation); atmospheric data assimilation and weather prediction; predictability (chaos-theory, ensemble methods); climate models (coupled atmospheric, oceanic and biogeochemical models); climate prediction. Hands-on experience with simple models will be acquired in the tutorials.
Lecture notesSlides and lecture notes will be made available at
Link
LiteratureList of literature will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticePrerequisites: to follow this course, you need some basic background in atmospheric science, numerical methods (e.g., "Numerische Methoden in der Umweltphysik", 701-0461-00L) as well as experience in programming. Previous experience with PYTHON is useful but not required.
701-1232-00LRadiation and Climate ChangeW3 credits2GM. Wild
AbstractThis lecture focuses on the prominent role of radiation in the energy balance of the Earth and in the context of past and future climate change.
ObjectiveThe aim of this course is to develop a thorough understanding of the fundamental role of radiation in the context of Earth's energy balance and climate change.
ContentThe course will cover the following topics:
Basic radiation laws; sun-earth relations; the sun as driver of climate change (faint sun paradox, Milankovic ice age theory, solar cycles); radiative forcings in the atmosphere: aerosol, water vapour, clouds; radiation balance of the Earth (satellite and surface observations, modeling approaches); anthropogenic perturbation of the Earth radiation balance: greenhouse gases and enhanced greenhouse effect, air pollution and global dimming; radiation-induced feedbacks in the climate system (water vapour feedback, snow albedo feedback); climate model scenarios under various radiative forcings.
Lecture notesSlides will be made available, lecture notes for part of the course
LiteratureAs announced in the course
701-1252-00LClimate Change Uncertainty and Risk: From Probabilistic Forecasts to Economics of Climate AdaptationW3 credits2V + 1UD. N. Bresch, R. Knutti
AbstractThe course introduces the concepts of predictability, probability, uncertainty and probabilistic risk modelling and their application to climate modeling and the economics of climate adaptation.
ObjectiveStudents will acquire knowledge in uncertainty and risk quantification (probabilistic modelling) and an understanding of the economics of climate adaptation. They will become able to construct their own uncertainty and risk assessment models (in Python), hence basic understanding of scientific programming forms a prerequisite of the course.
ContentThe first part of the course covers methods to quantify uncertainty in detecting and attributing human influence on climate change and to generate probabilistic climate change projections on global to regional scales. Model evaluation, calibration and structural error are discussed. In the second part, quantification of risks associated with local climate impacts and the economics of different baskets of climate adaptation options are assessed – leading to informed decisions to optimally allocate resources. Such pre-emptive risk management allows evaluating a mix of prevention, preparation, response, recovery, and (financial) risk transfer actions, resulting in an optimal balance of public and private contributions to risk management, aiming at a more resilient society.
The course provides an introduction to the following themes:
1) basics of probabilistic modelling and quantification of uncertainty from global climate change to local impacts of extreme events
2) methods to optimize and constrain model parameters using observations
3) risk management from identification (perception) and understanding (assessment, modelling) to actions (prevention, preparation, response, recovery, risk transfer)
4) basics of economic evaluation, economic decision making in the presence of climate risks and pre-emptive risk management to optimally allocate resources
Lecture notesPowerpoint slides will be made available
Literature-
Prerequisites / NoticeHands-on experience with probabilistic climate models and risk models will be acquired in the tutorials; hence basic understanding of scientific programming forms a prerequisite of the course. Basic understanding of the climate system, e.g. as covered in the course 'Klimasysteme' is required.

Examination: graded tutorials during the semester (benotete Semesterleistung)
Atmospheric Composition and Cycles
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
701-1234-00LTropospheric ChemistryW3 credits2GD. W. Brunner, I. El Haddad
AbstractThe course gives an overview tropospheric chemistry, which is based on laboratory studies, measurements and numerical modelling. The topics include aerosol, photochemistry, emissions and depositions. The lecture covers urban-regional-to-global scale issues, as well as fundamentals of the atmospheric nitrogen, sulfur and CH4 cycles and their contributions to aerosol and oxidant formation.
ObjectiveBased on the presented material the students are expected to understand the most relevant processes responsible for the anthropogenic disturbances of tropospheric chemical composition. The competence of synthesis of knowledge will be improved by paper reading and student's presentations.
These presentations relate to a particular actual problem selected by the candidates.
ContentStarting from the knowledge acquired in lecture 701-0471, the course provides a more profound view on the the chemical and dynamical process governing the composition and impacts of air pollutants like aerosol and ozone, at the Earth's surface and the free troposphere.
Specific topics covered by the lecture are: laboratory and ambient measurements in polluted and pristine regions, the determination of emissions of a variety of components, numerical modelling across scales, regional air pollution - aerosol, and photooxidant in relation to precursor emissions,
impacts (health, vegetation, climate), the global cycles of tropospheric ozone, CH4, sulfur and nitrogen components.
Lecture notesLecture presentations are available for download.
LiteratureD. Jacob, Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry Link

Mark Z. Jacobson: Fundamentals of Atmospheric Modelling, Cambridge University Press

John Seinfeld and Spyros Pandis, Atmosperic Chemistry and Physics, from air pollution to Climate Change, Wiley, 2006.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe basics in physical chemsitry are required and an overview equivalent to the bachelor course in atmospheric chemsitry (lecture 701-0471-01) is expected.
701-1238-00LAdvanced Field and Lab Studies in Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Restricted registration - show details
Limited number of participants.
W3 credits2PU. Krieger
AbstractIn the course 701-0460-00 P we offer the opportunity to carry out atmospheric physical and chemical experiments. The present course will be held in connection with this practical course. An individual assignment of a specific topic will be made for interested students who can acquire knowledge in experimental, instrumental, or numerical aspects of atmospheric chemistry.
ObjectiveIn the course 701-0460-00 P, Practical training in atmosphere and climate, we offer the opportunity to carry out atmospheric physical and chemical experiments. The present course will be held in connection with this practical course. An individual assignment of a specific topic will be made for interested students who can acquire knowledge in experimental, instrumental, numerical or theoretical aspects of atmospheric chemistry.

This course is addressed to students who have not attended the practical course 701-0460-00 P during their Bachelor studies, but want to gain knowledge in field work connected to atmospheric chemistry. The specific topic to work on may be chosen based on individual interests and resources available.
Prerequisites / NoticeIt is mandatory for interested students to contact the instructor before the term starts, so that individual assignments can be made/planned for.

The maximum number of participants for this course will be limited depending on resources available.
701-1317-00LGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles and ClimateW3 credits3GN. Gruber, M. Vogt
AbstractThe human-induced emissions of carbon dioxide has led to atmospheric CO2 concentrations that Earth likely has no’t seen for the last 30 million years. This course aims to investigate and understand the impact of humans on Earth's biogeochemical cycles with a focus on the carbon cycle and its interaction with the physical climate system for the past, the present, and the future.
ObjectiveThis course aims to investigate the nature of the interaction between biogeochemical cycles on land and in the ocean with climate and how this interaction has evolved over time and will change in the future. Students are expected to participate actively in the course, which includes the critical reading of the pertinent literature and class presentations.
ContentTopics discussed include: The anthropogenic perturbation of the global carbon cycle and climate. Response of land and oceanic ecosystems to past and future global changes; Interactions between biogeochemical cycles on land and in the ocean; Biogeochemical processes controlling carbon dioxide and oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere on time-scales from a few years to a few hundred thousand years.
Lecture notesSarmiento & Gruber (2006), Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics, Princeton University Press. Additional handouts will be provided as needed. see website: Link
LiteratureSarmiento & Gruber (2006), Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics, Princeton University Press, 526pp.

MacKenzie, F. T. (1999), Global biogeochemical cycles and the physical climate system, Global Change Instruction Program, UCAR, Boulder, CO, 69pp.

W. H. Schlesinger (1997), Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change, Academic Press.

Original literature.
Climate History and Paleoclimatology
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
651-4004-00LThe Global Carbon Cycle - ReducedW3 credits2GT. I. Eglinton, M. Lupker
AbstractThe carbon cycle connects different reservoirs of C, including life on Earth, atmospheric CO2, and economically important geological reserves of C. Much of this C is in reduced (organic) form, and is composed of complex chemical structures that reflect diverse biological activity, processes and transformations.
ObjectiveA wealth of information is held within the complex organic molecules, both in the context of the contemporary carbon cycle and its links to is other biogeochemical cycles, as well as in relation to Earth's history, the evolution of life and climate on this planet.

In this course we will learn about the role of reduced forms of carbon in the global cycle, how these forms of carbon are produced, move around the planet, and become sequestered in the geological record, and how they can be used to infer biological activity and conditions on this planet in the geologic past. The course encompasses a range of spatial and temporal scales, from molecular to global, and from the contemporary environment to earliest life.
Prerequisites / NoticeThis course and the lecture course "651-4044-00L Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry" Link are good preparations for the combined Field-Lab Course ("651-4044-02 P Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Field Course" and "651-4044-01 P Geomicrobiology and Biogeochemistry Lab Practical"). Details under Link
701-1317-00LGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles and ClimateW3 credits3GN. Gruber, M. Vogt
AbstractThe human-induced emissions of carbon dioxide has led to atmospheric CO2 concentrations that Earth likely has no’t seen for the last 30 million years. This course aims to investigate and understand the impact of humans on Earth's biogeochemical cycles with a focus on the carbon cycle and its interaction with the physical climate system for the past, the present, and the future.
ObjectiveThis course aims to investigate the nature of the interaction between biogeochemical cycles on land and in the ocean with climate and how this interaction has evolved over time and will change in the future. Students are expected to participate actively in the course, which includes the critical reading of the pertinent literature and class presentations.
ContentTopics discussed include: The anthropogenic perturbation of the global carbon cycle and climate. Response of land and oceanic ecosystems to past and future global changes; Interactions between biogeochemical cycles on land and in the ocean; Biogeochemical processes controlling carbon dioxide and oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere on time-scales from a few years to a few hundred thousand years.
Lecture notesSarmiento & Gruber (2006), Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics, Princeton University Press. Additional handouts will be provided as needed. see website: Link
LiteratureSarmiento & Gruber (2006), Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics, Princeton University Press, 526pp.

MacKenzie, F. T. (1999), Global biogeochemical cycles and the physical climate system, Global Change Instruction Program, UCAR, Boulder, CO, 69pp.

W. H. Schlesinger (1997), Biogeochemistry: An Analysis of Global Change, Academic Press.

Original literature.
651-4044-04LMicropalaeontology and Molecular PalaeontologyW3 credits2GH. Stoll, B. Ausin Gonzalez, T. I. Eglinton, I. Hernández Almeida
AbstractThe course aims to provide an introduction to the key micropaleontological and molecular fossils from marine and terrestrial niches, and the use of these fossils for reconstructing environmental and evolutionary changes.
ObjectiveThe course aims to provide an introduction to the key micropaleontological and molecular fossils from marine and terrestrial niches, and the use of these fossils for reconstructing environmental and evolutionary changes.

The course will include laboratory exercises with microscopy training: identification of plantonic foraminifera and the application of transfer functions, identification of calcareous nannoliths and estimation of water column structure and productivity with n-ratio, identification of major calcareous nannofossils for Mesozoic-cenozoic biostratigraphy, Quaternary radiolarian assemblages and estimation of diversity indices.
The course will include laboratory exercises on molecular markers include study of chlorin extracts, alkenone and TEX86 distributions and temperature reconstruction, and terrestrial leaf wax characterization, using GC-FID, LC-MS, and spectrophotometry.
ContentMicropaleontology and Molecular paleontology
1. Introduction to the domains of life and molecular and mineral fossils. Genomic classifications of domains of life. Biosynthesis and molecular fossils and preservation/degradation. Biomineralization and mineral fossils and preservation/dissolution. Review of stable isotopes in biosynthesis.
2. The planktic niche – primary producers. Resources and challenges of primary production in the marine photic zone – light supply, nutrient supply, water column structure and niche partitioning. Ecological strategies and specialization, bloom succession, diversity and size gradients in the modern ocean. Introduction to principal mineralizing phytoplankton – diatoms, coccolithophores, dynoflagellates, as well as cyanobacteria. Molecular markers including alkenones, long-chain diols and sterols, IP25, pigments, diatom UV-absorbing compounds. Application of fossils and markers as environmental proxies. Long term evolutionary evidence for originations, radiations, and extinctions in microfossils and biomarkers; evolution of size trends in phytoplankton over Cenozoic, geochemical evidence for evolution of carbon concentrating mechanisms. Introduction to nannofossil biostratigraphy.
3. The planktic niche – heterotrophy from bacteria to zooplankton. Resources and challenges of planktic heterotrophy – food supply, oxygen availability, seasonal cycles, seasonal and vertical niche partitioning. Introduction to principal mineralizing zooplankton planktic foraminifera and radiolaria: ecological strategies and specialization, succession, diversity and size gradients in the modern ocean. Morphometry and adaptations for symbiont hosting. Molecular records such as isorenieratene and Crenoarcheota GDGT; the debate of TEX86 temperature production. Long term evolutionary evidence for originations, radiations, and extinctions in microfossils; evolution of size and form, basic biostratigraphy. Molecular evidence of evolution including diversification of sterol/sterine assemblages.
4. The benthic niche – continental margins. Resources and challenges of benthic heterotrophy – food supply, oxygen, turbulence and substrate. Principal mineralizing benthic organisms – benthic foraminifera and ostracods. Benthic habitat gradients (infaunal and epifaunal; shallow to deep margin. Microbial redox ladder in sediments. Molecular markers of methanogenesis and methanotrophy, Anamox markers, pristine/phytane redox indicator. Applications of benthic communities for sea level reconstructions. Major originations and extinctions.
5. The benthic niche in the abyssal ocean. Resources and challenges of deep benthic heterotrophy. Benthic foraminifera, major extinctions and turnover events. Relationship to deep oxygen level and productivity.
6. Terrestrial dry niches -soils and trees. Resources and challenges - impacts of temperature, humidity, CO2 and soil moisture on terrestrial vegetation and microbial reaction and turnover. Introduction to pollen and molecular markers for soil pH, humidity, leaf wax C3-C4 community composition and hydrology. Long term evolution of C4 pathway, markers for angiosperm and gymnosperm evolution.
7. Terrestrial aquatic environments – resources and challenges. Lake systems, seasonal mixing regimes, eutrophication, closed/open systems. Introduction to lacustrine diatoms, chironomids, testate amoeba. Molecular markers in lake/box environments including paleogenomics of communities.
Lecture notesA lab and lecture manual will be distributed at the start of the course and additional material will be available in the course Moodle
LiteratureKey references from primary literature will be provided as pdf on the course moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeTiming: The course starts on February 19 and ends on May 28. Prerequisites: Recall and remember what you learned in introductory chemistry and biology
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