PEP 575 Fundamentals of Atmospheric Radiation and Climate

This course treats scattering, absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation in planetary media. The radiative transfer equation is derived, approximate solutions are found. Important heuristic models (Lorentz atom, two-level atom, vibrating rotator) as well as fundamental concepts are discussed including reflectance, absorptance, emittance, radiative warming/ cooling rates, actinic radiation, photolysis and biological dose rates. A unified treatment of radiative transfer within the atmosphere and ocean is provided, and extensive use of two-stream and approximate methods is emphasized. Applications to the climate problem focus on the role of greenhouse gases, aerosols and clouds in explaining the temperature structure of the atmosphere and the equilibrium temperature of the earth. The course is suitable for beginning graduate and upper-level undergraduate students.




MA 221 and PEP 242 or Graduate Student


Department of Physics

Typically Offered Periods

Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Session 1