Course Syllabus

THE GLOBAL CARBON CYCLE AND CLIMATE

The Program on Climate Change, Winter 2019 (ATMS/OCE/ESS 588)

Meeting Time: M,W 12:00-1:20; Meeting Place: ATG 610

Instructor:

Abigail L.S. Swann (she/her/hers), ATG 506, 616-0486, aswann@uw.edu, OH by appointment.

 

Course Goals and Structure:

The course focuses on factors controlling the global cycle of carbon.  Goals are to develop an appreciation for:      

  • The abundance and distribution of carbon and greenhouse gases
  • Physical, chemical and biological mechanisms that control ocean-atmosphere and terrestrial-atmosphere exchange of carbon and greenhouse gases.
  • The geologic evidence for climate change linked to greenhouse gases      
  • The fate of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, their impact on climate and strategies for mitigation and sequestration of anthropogenic gases

These goals will be achieved through lectures, paper discussions, problem sets, and in class presentations.

 

Assessment: 

Grades will be assigned based on the student’s performance on the following:

  • 60% - 5 problem sets
  • 10% - Participation in class and during the paper discussions
  • 30% - Term paper & oral presentation

 

Readings: 

There is no text for this course.  Readings will be located in the Files Folder called "Readings" or linked below.

Excerpts from text books:

Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics, Sarmiento and Gruber Chapter 10. and All Figures (under downloads).

Ecological Climatology, Bonan Chapter 12 (1st ed) [text, figures(2nd or 3rd editions are fine if you have a paper copy handy)

Chapters from the IPCC report

IPCC 2013, Technical Summary 

Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, L.V. Alexander, S.K. Allen, N.L. Bindoff, F.-M. Bréon, J.A. Church, U. Cubasch, S. Emori, P. Forster, P. Friedlingstein, N. Gillett, J.M. Gregory, D.L. Hartmann, E. Jansen, B. Kirtman, R. Knutti, K. Krishna Kumar, P. Lemke, J. Marotzke, V. Masson-Delmotte, G.A. Meehl, I.I. Mokhov, S. Piao, V. Ramaswamy, D. Randall, M. Rhein, M. Rojas, C. Sabine, D. Shindell, L.D. Talley, D.G. Vaughan and S.-P. Xie, 2013: Technical Summary. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

IPCC 2013, Chapter 6: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles

Ciais, P., C. Sabine, G. Bala, L. Bopp, V. Brovkin, J. Canadell, A. Chhabra, R. DeFries, J. Galloway, M. Heimann, C. Jones, C. Le Quéré, R.B. Myneni, S. Piao and P. Thornton, 2013: Carbon and Other Biogeochemical Cycles. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

 

Additional Background Reading:

D. Schimel. Climate and ecosystems. Princeton University Press, 2013.

 

Problem Sets:

  • Problem sets will be completed in python using a web browser to access scripts for analysis. Almost no coding is required to complete the assignments, however you will need to run the codes provided and make simple modifications.
  • The coding aspects of the assignments are necessary to make the types of calculations necessary to explore this topic and are not meant to be a barrier. I am more than happy to meet with students to provide additional help with coding aspects of the assignments.
  • You may work together on problem sets in small groups (2-3 people) but each person must submit their own original answers.  Please identify all group members on assignments when you submit them.
  • Answers for problem sets should be submitted electronically via the canvas website prior to class time on the day they are due.   A complete assignment write up may include text and images as necessary to answer the questions.  PDF format is recommended for documents containing images to ensure compatibility.  Please do not email them.

 

Term Paper

The topic of the term paper can be anything related to the course. Topics should be discussed with the instructor. The paper may be a literature review or include calculations and results on a relevant topic.  Papers should be 5-10 pages (1.5 spacing) with greater than 10 references.   The Term Paper is due Monday March 18th at midnight online through the canvas website. Students will also give a short in-class presentation on the topic of their term paper at the end of the quarter. Some ideas for topics can be found here.

 

Academic Accommodations: 


To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services: 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V/TTY). If you have a letter from DSS indicating that you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, please present the letter to the instructor so that we can discuss the accommodations you might need in the class. 
Academic accommodations due to disability will not be made unless the student has a letter from DSS specifying the type and nature of accommodations needed.

Your experience in this class is important to us, and it is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law. Disability Resources for Students (DRS) offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary or permanent disability that requires accommodations, you are welcome to contact DRS at 206‐543‐8924 or uwdrs@uw.edu or visit disability.uw.edu. If you have already established accommodations with DRS, please use the information provided on the website for this course when submitting your Alternative Testing Contract to DRS via their online system. Students with accommodations are solely responsible for submitting the Alternative Testing Contract and scheduling the exams with DRS well in advance of the exam dates.

Academic Honesty: 


At the University level, passing anyone else’s scholarly work (which can include written material, exam answers, graphics or other images, and even ideas) as your own, without proper attribution, is considered academic misconduct. Plagiarism, cheating, and other misconduct are serious violations of the University of Washington Student Conduct Code (WAC 478‐120, http://www.washington.edu/cssc/student-conduct-overview/student-code-of-conduct/). We expect that you will know and follow university policies on cheating and plagiarism. Any suspected cases of academic misconduct will be handled according to university regulations. For more information, see the College of the Environment’s Academic Misconduct Policy (https://environment.uw.edu/intranet/academics/academic-integrity/academic-misconduct/) and the Community Standards and Student Conduct website (http://www.washington.edu/cssc/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.).

Course Summary:

Date Details