Atmospheric Thermodynamics (METR 3210)

Syllabus [PDF]

I taught this course in Spring 2015 – usually Professor Matt Eastin teaches it. From the syllabus, my Course Description was: Atmospheric thermodynamics is the study of how air moves and stays still in the atmosphere. This is the heart of every aspect of atmospheric sciences, weather forecasting, and climate science. Topics include: atmospheric composition, equation of state, hydrostatics, first and second laws of thermodynamics for dry, moist, and saturated air, atmospheric stability, parcel buoyancy, and thermodynamic diagrams.

We worked our way through the ideal gas law, the 1st law of thermodynamics, the 2nd law, and then learned all about how to evaluate the stability in the atmosphere via skew-T charts and via brute force equations. Check out the sounding from near campus (extracted from a weather model), nearby from GSO, or from anywhere a balloon-sonde is lauched. Thermodynamics students learn to decode all the information packed onto this kind of analysis chart: