"Several sciences are often necessary to form the groundwork of a single art" - Mills, 1843

"Science is knowledge which we understand so well that we can teach it to a computer; and if we don't fully understand something it is an art to deal with it" - Knuth, 1974

In the spirit of Mills and Knuth, this class will develop an approach to modeling complex systems, such as those of climate, based on the rigorous understanding of the underlying processes we understand and on exploiting our insight and creativity for those we do not. We will explore and use various numerical methods, develop computing skills, and deal with data handing as a means to and end of quantifying climate system behavior. Beyond the theory and motivation for modeling, this class aims to develop core practical skills in Fortran programming, methods for visualization of model output and data, and basic UNIX computing, as is needed for working with most state-of-the-art weather and climate research models. We will meet once per week to undertake a series of studies of problems needing modeled solutions, including: energy balance, radiative-convective equilibrium, baroclinic instability, land-atmosphere interactions, Rossby waves, weather prediction and the general circulation of the atmosphere.


Time:              Sprint 2013, Tuesday, 2-4:45 pm
Location:        HUM 1B35
Web Page:      http://atoc.colorado.edu/~dcn/ATOC7500
Instructor:      David Noone, Ekeley S236, 303-735-6073 (dcn@colorado.edu)
Office hours:  
By appointment. (mostly likely Thursday PM)
Texts:             None. Useful reading will be given in leactures.

Download a copy of the syllabus.

Notes and schedule

Approximate lecture outline.

Download: A mini guide to programming and other tricks on atoc. (Will be updated occasionally)

Upload: To upload you assignments to "dogfish":
ftp dogfish.colorado.edu
(login: ftp password: your email address)
cd incoming
cd ATOC7500
cd weekXX
(where XX is the week number)
put yourfile.doc


Week # Date Lecture Assign doc page Reading
I 1 15 Jan Introduction to modeling EX01 EX01.doc M&HS1-2, Held (2005)
II 2 22 Jan Feedbacks EX02 EX02.doc M&HS3
III 3 29 Jan Dynamical models EX03 EX03.doc Flick through Holton 4, 6, 10 on the physics. Lorenz (1963);Lorenz Attractor from wikipedia andWolfram. Also see the original derivation by Saltzman (1962)
IV 4 05 Feb Advection EX04 EX04.doc Holton 13.3, Durran 2, Kalnay 3, Rood (1987)
V 5 12 Feb Spectral methods EX05 EX05.doc Durran 2, Kalnay 3
VI 6 19 Feb Diffusion EX06 EX06.doc  
VII 7 26 Feb Geostrophic relationships EX07 EX07.doc WP4, Durran 3 (Review Holton 7.7), Charney, Fjortoft and von Neumann (1950)
VIII 8 05 Mar Weather prediction EX08 Assignment  
IX 9 12 Mar Parameterization (Assignment)    
X 10 19 Mar Tracer transport, spectral method EX10 MIDTERM DUE Holton 13.5, WP 4.4 (good overview), Durran 4.4, KBK5 (detailed)
XI   26 Mar Spring Break - no class FINAL project assignment    
XII 11 02 Apr Quasi-geostopheric general circulation EX11 EX11.doc (proposals emailed 4 April)
XIII 12 09 Apr Proposal presentations, Data assimilation      
XIV 13 16 Apr Project work      
XV 14 23 Apr PCA EX14 EX14.doc (Guest lecture)
XVI 15 2 May Project presentations   Final project DUE  
XVII   07 May Exam Week - final project due      


Papers and other resources

Charney, J. G., R. Fjortoft and J. von Neumann, Numerical integration of the barotropic vorticity equation. Tellus, 2, 237-254, 1950.

Held, I., The gap between simulation and understanding in climate modeling. Bull. Am. Met. Soc., 85, 1609-1614, 2005.

Kiehl, J. T., and K. E. Trenberth, Earth's annual mean global energy budget. Bull. Am. Met. Soc., 78,197-208, 1997.

Lorenz, E., Deterministic non-periodic flow. J. Atmos. Sci., 20, 130-141, 1963.

Marshall, J., and F. Molteni, Toward a Dynamical understanding of planetary-scale flow regimes, J. Atmos. Sci., 50, 1792-1818, 1993

Marshall, J., and D. So, Thermal equilibration of planetary waves, J. Atmos. Sci., 47,  963-978, 1990

Phillips, N., The general circulation of the atmosphere: A numerical experiment. Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc., 82, 123-164, 1956.

Rood, R. B., Numerical advection algorithms and their role in atmospheric transport and chemistry models. Rev. Geophys, 25, 71-100, 1987.

Saltzman, B., Finite Amplitude Free Convection as an Initial Value Problem—I, J. Atmos. Sci. 19, 329-341.


Useful books

Durran, D., Numerical Methods for Wave Equations in Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, Springer, 1999.

Hartmann, D., Global Physical Climatology, Elsevier Academic Press, 1994

Holton, J., Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology, Elsevier Academic Press, 2004.

Jacobson, D., Fundamentals of atmospheric modeling, Cambridge, 1998.

Kalnay, E., Atmospheric modeling, data assimilation and predictability, Cambridge, 2003.

Krishnamurti, T. N., H. S. Bedi and V. M. Hardiker, An introduction to global spectral modeling, Oxford, 1998.

McKuffie, K., and A. Henderson-Sellers, A climate modeling primer, 2nd ed., John Wiley and Sons, 2005.

Randall, D., General Circulation Model development, Academic press, 2000.

Robinson, W., Modeling dynamic climate systems, Springer, 2001

Salzmann, B., Dynamic paleoclimatology, Elsevier Academic Press, 2004

Trefethen, L. N., Finite Difference and Spectral Methods for Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations, unpublished text, 1996

Trenberth, K., Climate System Modeling, Cambridge, 1992.

Washington, W., and C. Parking, An introduction of three-dimensional climate modeling, 2nd ed., University Science Books, 2004.