Skip to content | Change text size

ATM2020 - Large-scale weather and climate

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Dr Richard Wardle (School of Mathematical Sciences)


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit provides the opportunity for students to understand the weather and climate of the lower atmosphere. Topics discussed include: the characteristics of the atmosphere, radiation and the global energy balance, the greenhouse effect and climate change, radiative-convective equilibrium, dry convection, the global wind distribution, Hadley circulation, mid-latitude westerlies, global heat and momentum balance, geostrophic wind, thermal wind, extratropical cyclones, anticyclones and fronts.


On completion of this unit students will understand the physical basis of the weather and climate on scales ranging from 1000km up to that of the globe. In particular, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of the conservation of energy and the coservation of momentum applied to the Earth's atmosphere; weather prediction; greenhouse climate change; antartic ozone depletion, and other large-scale atmospheric phenomena such as the mid-latitude westerlies and frontal systems.


Examination (3 hours): 50%
Laboratory work: 15%
Field Trip: 10%
Assignments and tests: 25%

Contact hours

Three 1-hour lectures and 2 hours of support classes per week (average).


MTH1030 or equivalent


ATM3022, ATM2022