Weather and Climate Fundamentals

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Weather and Climate Fundamentals

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Climatology/Meteorology, Environmental Science, Physics

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Lower

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    10
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    6
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    8
  • Overview

    Summary module description:
    A module combining introductory theory of meteorology, problem solving tutorials and meteorological data analysis.

    Aims:
    This module aims to develop the student's skills in the application of basic physical principles to middle latitude weather systems.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    By the end of this module the student should be able to:
    Demonstrate and develop skills in scientific problem solving.
    Understand and be able to explain basic physical laws and concepts and their significance to the atmosphere.
    Write down formulae for the forces acting on air parcels and apply these using real data.
    Understand and be able to explain the components of the Surface Energy Budget.
    Understand and be able to explain the development of important weather systems in terms of basic physics.
    Apply the first law of thermodynamics to air parcels and interpret the state of the atmosphere by analysis of tephigrams.

    Additional outcomes:
    This module will enhance general problem solving skills and skills in meteorological data analysis.

    Outline content:
    Theory lectures:
    Thermodynamics: first law of thermodynamics for an air parcel, theory of thermodynamic diagrams and processes.
    Atmospheric moisture: humidity mixing ratio, dew point temperature, relative humidity.
    Dynamics: Forces acting on air parcels, pressure gradient force, Coriolis force, drag, forces in balance: hydrostatic, geostrophic and gradient wind.
    Analysis of atmospheric state using a tephigram including dry and saturated adiabats, lifting condensation level, atmospheric stability.
    Radiation laws and simple models.
    Temperature gradient effects: Thermal wind balance and thermal advection.
    Weather system analysis: mass conservation, divergence, vorticity, ageostrophic flow, vertical motion, jets, contribution of vertical motion to development of extratropical weather systems, frontogenesis

    Practicals:
    Plotting and analysis of tephigrams, surface, upper air and thickness charts.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Around 30 50 minute theory lectures, 20 50 minute tutorial sessions with either seminars on application of lecture material or problem sheets, 10 110-minute practical classes comprising of a mixture of chart analysis and scientific problem solving.

    Summative Assessment Methods:

    Written exam 50%
    Written assignment including essay 20%
    Practical skills assessment 30%

    Formative assessment methods:
    In the first term, one example sheet. In the second term, two formative practical exercises

    Penalties for late submission:
    Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy.
    The following penalties will be applied to coursework which is submitted after the deadline for submission:
    ? where the piece of work is submitted up to three days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark;
    ? where the piece of work is submitted more than three days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadine. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.
    (Please refer to the Undergraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guideUG.aspx)

    The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
    where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
    where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

    The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    1.5 hours.

    Requirements for a pass:
    40% overall.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.