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  • Atmospheric Science
6.3 Weather, Climate & Water Cycling
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This unit on weather, climate, and water cycling is broken into four separate lesson sets. In the first two lesson sets, students explain small-scale storms. In the third and fourth lesson sets, students explain mesoscale weather systems and climate-level patterns of precipitation. Each of these two parts of the unit is grounded in a different anchoring phenomenon.

The unit starts out with anchoring students in the exploration of a series of videos of hailstorms from different locations across the country at different times of the year. The videos show that pieces of ice of different sizes (some very large) are falling out of the sky, sometimes accompanied by rain and wind gusts, all on days when the temperature of the air outside remained above freezing for the entire day. These cases spark questions and ideas for investigations, such as investigating how ice can be falling from the sky on a warm day, how clouds form, why some clouds produce storms with large amounts of precipitation and others don’t, and how all that water gets into the air in the first place.

The second half of the unit is anchored in the exploration of a weather report of a winter storm that affected large portions of the midwestern United States. The maps, transcripts, and video that students analyze show them that the storm was forecasted to produce large amounts of snow and ice accumulation in large portions of the northeastern part of the country within the next day. This case sparks questions and ideas for investigations around trying to figure out what could be causing such a large-scale storm and why it would end up affecting a different part of the country a day later.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Lesson Plan
Student Guide
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Author:
Assessment Specialist Colleen O’Brien
Boston College Emily Harris
BSCS Science Learning Audrey Mohan
BSCS Science Learning Dawn Novak
BSCS Science Learning Katie Van Horne
BSCS Science Learning Lindsey Mohan
BSCS Science Learning Tracey Ramirez
Columbia University Elisabeth Cohen
Indian Woods Middle School Ann Rivet
Indian Woods Middle School Whitney Smith
Lombard Middle School Vanessa Hannana
Michael Novak
Northwestern University Renee Affolter
Williston Central School Heather Galbreath
Date Added:
08/04/2020
Advanced Igneous Petrology, Fall 2005
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Advanced Igneous Petrology covers the history of and recent developments in the study of igneous rocks. Students review the chemistry and structure of igneous rock-forming minerals and proceed to study how these minerals occur and interact in igneous rocks. The course focuses on igneous processes and how we have learned about them through studying a number of significant sites worldwide.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Grove, Timothy L.
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Advanced Seminar in Geology and Geochemistry: Organic Geochemistry, Fall 2005
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CC BY-NC-SA
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12.491 is a seminar focusing on problems of current interest in geology and geochemistry. For Fall 2005, the topic is organic geochemistry. Lectures and readings cover recent research in the development and properties of organic matter.

Subject:
Anatomy/Physiology
Atmospheric Science
Chemistry
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Summons, Roger
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Air Masses
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This is Activity 12 of a set of Level 1 activities designed by the Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM) Project. The authors suggest that previous activities in the unit be completed before Activity 12: Air Masses, including those that address pressure systems and dew point temperature. In Activity 12, the students learn about the four main types of air masses that affect weather in the United States, their characteristic temperatures, and humidity levels as it relates to dew point temperatures. The lesson plan follows the 5E format. Initially, students discuss local weather and then examine surface temperature and dew point data on maps to determine patterns and possible locations of air masses. They learn about the source regions of air masses and compare their maps to a forecast weather map with fronts and pressure systems drawn in. During the Extension phase, students access current maps with surface and dew point temperatures at http://www.uni.edu/storm/activities/level1 and try to identify locations of air masses. They sketch in fronts and compare their results to the fronts map. Evaluation consists of collection of student papers.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)
University of Northern Iowa
Provider Set:
NGSS@NSTA
Science Center for Teaching, Outreach, and Research on Meteorology (STORM)
Date Added:
02/16/2018
Applications of Continuum Mechanics to Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Spring 2006
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Practical applications of the continuum concept for deformation of solids and fluids, emphasizing force balance. Stress tensor, infinitesimal and finite strain, and rotation tensors developed. Constitutive relations applicable to geological materials, including elastic, viscous, brittle, and plastic deformation. Solutions to classical problems in geodynamics.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Hager, Bradford H.
Date Added:
01/01/2006
An Astro-Ventrous Water Cycle!
Only Sharing Permitted
CC BY-NC-ND
Rating

In this lesson students create a laboratory simulation of the water cycle. Indicating the change in states of matter and the flow of energy. Students also compare and contrast the cycle of matter with the flow of energy. This lesson was created as part of the 2016 NASA STEM Standards of Practice Project, a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Alabama Learning Exchange
Date Added:
08/06/2020
Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics, Fall 2008
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CC BY-NC-SA
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"This undergraduate class is designed to introduce students to the physics that govern the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. The focus of the course is on the processes that control the climate of the planet.AcknowledgmentsProf. Ferrari wishes to acknowledge that this course was originally designed and taught by Prof. John Marshall."

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Ferrari, Raffaele
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Atmospheric Radiation, Fall 2008
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Introduction to the physics of atmospheric radiation and remote sensing including use of computer codes. Radiative transfer equation including emission and scattering, spectroscopy, Mie theory, and numerical solutions. Solution of inverse problems in remote sensing of atmospheric temperature and composition.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
McClatchey, Robert
Seager, Sara
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations, Spring 2004
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CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

Survey of atmospheric and oceanic phenomena including the discussion of observations and theoretical interpretations. Topics covered include: monsoons; El Nino; planetary waves; atmospheric synoptic eddies and fronts; gulf stream rings; hurricanes; surface and internal gravity waves; and tides. In this course, we will look at many important aspects of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, from length scales of meters to thousands of km and time scales ranging from seconds to years. We will assume familiarity with concepts covered in course 12.003 (Physics of the Fluid Earth). In the early stages of the present course, we will make somewhat greater use of math than did 12.003, but the math we will use is no more than that encountered in elementary electromagnetic field theory, for example. The focus of the course is on the physics of the phenomena which we will discuss.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Plumb, R. Alan
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Atmospheric and Oceanic Modeling, Spring 2004
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

The numerical methods, formulation and parameterizations used in models of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean will be described in detail. Widely used numerical methods will be the focus but we will also review emerging concepts and new methods. The numerics underlying a hierarchy of models will be discussed, ranging from simple GFD models to the high-end GCMs. In the context of ocean GCMs, we will describe parameterization of geostrophic eddies, mixing and the surface and bottom boundary layers. In the atmosphere, we will review parameterizations of convection and large scale condensation, the planetary boundary layer and radiative transfer.

Subject:
Education
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Adcroft, Alistair
Adcroft, Alistair J
Emanuel, Kerry A., 1955-
Marshall, John
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Basics of Impact Cratering & Geological, Geophysical, Geochemical, Environmental Studies of Some Impact Craters of the Earth, January (IAP) 2008
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
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This course introduces impact craters of the Earth. There are now 170 identified impact craters on the Earth, and this number is growing, ever since the well known discovery of Meteor Crater in 1920s. Currently, multi/inter disciplinary research studies of impact structures are getting conducted in fields like mineralogy, petrology, environmental geology and marine biology. This course is offered during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), which is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Pillalamarri, Ila
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Beijing Urban Design Studio, Summer 2008
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In 2008, the Beijing Urban Design Studio will focus on the issue of Beijing's urban transformation under the theme of de-industrialization, by preparing an urban design and development plan for the Shougang (Capital Steel Factory) site. This studio will address whether portions of the old massive factory infrastructure can be preserved as a national industrial heritage site embedded into future new development; how to balance the cultural and recreational value of the site with environmental challenges; as well as how to use the site for urban development. A special focus of the studio will be to consider development approaches that minimize energy utilization. To research these questions, students will be asked to interact with clients from the factory, local residents, city officials and experts on transportation, environment, energy and real estate. They will assess strategic options for the steel factory and propose comprehensive plans for the design and development of the brownfield site.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Frenchman, Dennis
Wampler, Jan
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Chemical Investigations of Boston Harbor, January (IAP) 2006
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CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

Laboratory or field work in atmospheric science and oceanography. To be arranged with department faculty. Consult with department Education Office. This is an undergraduate introductory laboratory subject in ocean chemistry and measurement. There are three main elements to the course: oceanic chemical sampling and analysis, instrumentation development for the ocean environment, and the larger field of ocean science. This course is offered as part of the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography/Applied Ocean Science and Engineering.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Kujawinski, Elizabeth
Date Added:
01/01/2006
Crosby Lectures in Geology: History of Africa, Fall 2005
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CC BY-NC-SA
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A series of presentations on an advanced topic in the field of geology by the visiting William Otis Crosby lecturer. The Crosby lectureship is awarded to a distinguished international scientist each year to introduce new scientific perspectives to the MIT community. Subject content and structure vary from year to year.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Burke, Kevin
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Dynamics of Complex Systems: Biological and Environmental Coevolution Preceding the Cambrian Explosion, Spring 2005
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CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

An introduction to theoretical studies of systems of many interacting components, the individual dynamics of which may be simple, but the collective dynamics of which are often nonlinear and analytically intractable. Topics vary from year to year. Format includes both pedagogical lectures and round-table reviews of current literature. Subjects of interest include: problems in natural science (e.g., geology, ecology, and biology) where quantitative theory is still in development; problems in physics, such as turbulence, that demonstrate powerful concepts such as scaling and universality; and modern computational methods for the simulation and study of such problems. Discussions in context of contemporary experimental or observational data.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Rothman, Daniel
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Dynamics of Complex Systems: Complexity in Ecology, Spring 2000
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

An introduction to theoretical studies of systems of many interacting components, the individual dynamics of which may be simple, but the collective dynamics of which are often nonlinear and analytically intractable. Topics vary from year to year. Format includes both pedagogical lectures and round-table reviews of current literature. Subjects of interest include: problems in natural science (e.g., geology, ecology, and biology) where quantitative theory is still in development; problems in physics, such as turbulence, that demonstrate powerful concepts such as scaling and universality; and modern computational methods for the simulation and study of such problems. Discussions in context of contemporary experimental or observational data.

Subject:
Ecology
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Rothman, Daniel
Date Added:
01/01/2000
Dynamics of Complex Systems: Ecological Theory, Spring 2001
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

An introduction to theoretical studies of systems of many interacting components, the individual dynamics of which may be simple, but the collective dynamics of which are often nonlinear and analytically intractable. Topics vary from year to year. Format includes both pedagogical lectures and round-table reviews of current literature. Subjects of interest include: problems in natural science (e.g., geology, ecology, and biology) where quantitative theory is still in development; problems in physics, such as turbulence, that demonstrate powerful concepts such as scaling and universality; and modern computational methods for the simulation and study of such problems. Discussions in context of contemporary experimental or observational data.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Rothman, Daniel
Date Added:
01/01/2001
Dynamics of the Atmosphere, Spring 2008
Conditional Remix & Share Permitted
CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

This course begins with a study of the role of dynamics in the general physics of the atmosphere, the consideration of the differences between modeling and approximation, and the observed large-scale phenomenology of the atmosphere. Only then are the basic equations derived in rigorous manner. The equations are then applied to important problems and methodologies in meteorology and climate, with discussions of the history of the topics where appropriate. Problems include the Hadley circulation and its role in the general circulation, atmospheric waves including gravity and Rossby waves and their interaction with the mean flow, with specific applications to the stratospheric quasi-biennial oscillation, tides, the super-rotation of Venus' atmosphere, the generation of atmospheric turbulence, and stationary waves among other problems. The quasi-geostrophic approximation is derived, and the resulting equations are used to examine the hydrodynamic stability of the circulation with applications ranging from convective adjustment to climate.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Lindzen, Richard
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Elementary GLOBE: Cloud Fun (Spanish)
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A learning activity for the "Do You Know That Clouds Have Names?" book in the Elementary GLOBE series. Each student will be given the opportunity to create their own cumulus cloud out of white paper and mount it on blue paper. Students will also complete the Cloud Fun Student Activity Sheet that includes a description of the cloud and what the weather was like on the day the cloud was observed. The purpose of the activity is to help students identify cumulus clouds and observe the weather conditions on days that they see cumulus clouds. Students will learn about a cumulus cloud's shape and appearance, how to verbally describe cumulus clouds, and what the weather is generally like when these clouds appear in the sky.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Astronomy
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
The GLOBE Program
Provider Set:
Globe Program
Date Added:
12/01/2008