Module Identifier PH29010  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr James Whiteway  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Andrew Breen, Dr Nicholas Mitchell  
Pre-Requisite Part 1 Core Modules  
Course delivery Lecture   20 lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   2 exercise classes; 2 tutorials  
Assessment Course work   Example Sheets Example Sheets 11,12,14,15,16 & 18 Deadlines are detailed in the Year 2 Example Sheet Schedule distributed by the Department   30%  
  Exam   End of semester examinations   70%  

Module description

An introduction is given to the physics of the Earth's atmosphere. The basic principles of radiation, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics are applied to gain an understanding of fundamental atmospheric phemonena. Topics covered include: planetary radiation balance, thermal structure, formation of clouds and precipitation, lightening, generation of wind and atmospheric circulation, weather patterns and the stratosphere. Discussion will emphasize the environmental issues of climate change and ozone depletion. Applications such as remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and weather prediction are also introduced.

Learning outcomes

After taking this module students should be able to:

Outline syllabus


Atmospheric composition
Fundamentals of radiation
Planetary radiation balance
Atmospheric thermal structure
Solar radiation in the atmosphere: absorption and scattering
Remote sensing of planetary atmospheres
Climate Change


Clouds and precipitation
Meteorology: cyclones, anticyclones and fronts
Planetary scale circulation and world climates
Dynamics of the stratosphere and mesosphere
Ozone depletion

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
J.M. Wallace and P.V. Hobbs. Atmospheric Science, an Introductory Survey. 0127329501
** Supplementary Text
J.W. Moran and M.D. Morgan. Meteorology. 0132667010