PHYS 260 The Science of Climate Change


The Earth’s climate is a complex system with many components, including the atmosphere, ocean, land, and the creatures that inhabit these spaces. This course will address the science behind climate change, focusing on 1) the mechanisms that govern climate; and 2) how climate interfaces with the biological world. Students will engage with both concepts and real climate data to explore these two areas. Specific physics topics will include: forcings and feedbacks; the greenhouse effect; radiation transfer and global energy balance; atmospheric and ocean circulation; ice-climate interactions; and global climate models. This course is intended for Physics majors or minors.

Prerequisites: PHYS 111/12 (or 109/110) and PHYS 113/114