Location:  University of Melbourne - Parkville

The course introduces students to the philosophy and techniques of the quantitative analysis of weather and climate data, and modelling the large-scale atmospheric system. Among the topics to be covered are the maintenance of the general circulation of the atmosphere, a discussion of the global energy balance and momentum balance, and the role of baroclinic eddies and the meridional circulation. The subject will also cover the growth of error in numerical models and its implications for predictability and climate simulation, as well as an introduction to the structure of General Circulation Models (GCMs) and an appraisal of their simulations of climate. Other parts will include an examination of the philosophy of the design and implementation of climate sensitivity experiments with GCMs. Also covered will be an introduction to the statistical foundations for the analysis of observed and simulated data (including spectral methods, Principal Component Analysis, Monte-Carlo testing, non-parametric tests, trend analysis, the t-test). Other topics to be covered will include the climatology of ozone and the ozone hole, and the mechanics and variability of the ‘semi-annual oscillation’ and the ‘southern annular mode’ and the relevance of these to climate change.

Formal lectures presented 10am - 2 pm on the following days:

Tuesdays   7, 14, 21, 28 March, 4, 11 April 2017

The afternoons on these days will be given over to exercises related to the material covered in the morning

 A seventh day (Tuesday 23 May 2017) will be given over to student presentations

 (All these activities will take place in Room 409 of the Earth Sciences building)


Written assignments totalling 3,000 words (70%) and a 15 minute presentation (30%). Assessment is due within six weeks of the completion of intensive lecture modules.

Further information can be found at: https://handbook.unimelb.edu.au/subjects/atoc90006