PAOC Spotlights

PAOC IAP Courses: 12.312

Wed December 8th, 2010


The aim of 12.312 Understand and run your own climate model  is to introduce MIT undergraduates to the challenges of numerical modeling of a physical system, and, in particular, to the major challenge of modeling the climate system. By focusing on a relatively simple climate model, students have the opportunity to understand in detail some of the numerical methods used and to run a climate model on their own.

Through discussion of a modern general circulation model, running simple climate models in Matlab and analyzing output from the comprehensive climate models used in global warming assessments, students gain hands-on experience and learn some of the fundamentals of simulating Earth's climate system.

1. Introduction to climate and matlab tutorial
2. Radiation and convection: 0D and column radiation models
3. Poleward energy transport and ice-albedo: 1D (in latitude) energy balance model
4. Basic dynamics: spinup of fluid-dynamical instability
5. Modern climate models and climate change experiments: analysis of climate model output

Instructor: Paul O'Gorman
Office: 54-1616

TA: Mike Byrne

Class webpage

Meet: MWF Jan 5-28 except MLK day; 10am-12:00pm in 54-1615

Prereq: GIR:PHY1, GIR:CAL1
Level: U 6 units Graded P/D/F

Updated January 2012