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This course looks at global change from the perspective of atmospheric composition and its linkage to the climate system. Issues covered include the fundamental photochemical and dynamical processes which control atmospheric composition and structure, and how they would differ in a modified climate. The course is designed to complement the material covered in Course I2 The Earth System and Climate Change, although either course can be taken independently. The course will be lectured and examined in a way that assumes no prior knowledge for those taking the course. Examination questions will be based on both core and specialist lectures.
Atmospheric composition and structure. Stratospheric and tropospheric chemical processes.
Major stratospheric catalytic cycles of NOx, HOx, ClOx and BrOx. Atmospheric aerosol and
heterogeneous chemistry. Ozone depletion in the Antarctic, Arctic and middle latitudes. Future O3 trends.
Tropospheric ozone and tropospheric oxidation processes, including the importance of the OH radical. The ozone balance - the role of NOx and hydrocarbons.
Past climates – how this influenced the composition of past atmospheres and what they can
tell us about future changes.
Greenhouse gases. Radiative balance. Climate change and the links between atmospheric
chemistry and climate.
The impact of volcanic eruptions on the atmosphere and climate. (Dr Marie Edmonds, Earth
Ice cores and global change (Prof. Eric Wolff, Earth Sciences)
The Role of aerosols in climate (Dr Michael Herzog, Geography)
The carbon cycle (Dr Andrew Friend, Geography)
R. P. Wayne, Chemistry of Atmospheres, Third Edition (2000), OUP. [QC879.6.W39]
G. P. Brasseur, J. J. Orlando and G. S. Tyndall, Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Change, (1999),
T. E. Graedel and P. J. Crutzen, Atmospheric Change - An Earth System Perspective, (1993) W. H.
Freeman and Co (New York). [QC981.8.G73]
B. J. Finlayson-Pitts and J. N. Pitts, Jr Chemistry of the upper and lower atmosphere, Academic Press.
D. J. Jacob, Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry, (2004) Princeton University Press. [QC879.6.J33]
The following two items contains useful introductory material
J. T. Houghton, Global warming, the complete briefing, (2004), CUP. [QC981.8.G56.H68]
http://www.ipcc.ch International Panel on Climate Change.
This course is given by the Department of Chemistry.