Dec 02, 2023  
Catalogue 2022-2023 
Catalogue 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ESCI 361 - Modeling the Earth

1 unit(s)
(Same as ENST 361 ) Computer models are powerful tools in the Earth and Environmental Sciences for generating and testing hypotheses about how the Earth system functions and for allowing simulation of processes in places inaccessible to humans (e.g., Earth’s deep interior), too slow to permit observation (e.g., orbitally controlled ice sheet growth and decay), or too large to facilitate construction of physical models (e.g., circulation of the world ocean). Taking readings from the scientific literature, we create and then perform experiments with simple computer models, using the STELLA iconographic box-modeling software package.  The course emphasizes Earth’s climate system; topics include our planet’s radiative balance with the sun and resulting temperature, the flow of ice in glaciers, the role of life in moderating Earth’s climate, how temperature profiles in permafrost record the last two centuries of global warming, and the impacts of fossil fuel combustion on ocean acidification. Toward the end of the semester, students apply the skills they have acquired to a modeling project of their own devising.   

Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in the natural sciences.

Satisfies the college requirement for quantitative reasoning.

One 4-hour period.

Not offered in 2022/23.

Course Format: INT

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