Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate

By Richard McGehee

University of Minnesota

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Abstract

This course will investigate the following questions from a mathematical perspective. What determines the Earth's surface temperature? Why does the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affect the climate? How do changes in the Earth's orbital parameters change the climate? Why has the Earth cycled through ice ages for the last million years?

Mathematical topics will include: basic energy balance models, the Earth's orbital dynamics, an introduction to paleoclimate models, and basics of radiative transfer in the atmosphere.

Prerequisites are two years of calculus, including differential equations and linear algebra, and consent of the instructor. This course will count as an upper-division MATH course toward the undergraduate mathematics major programs. No background in climate science will be assumed, but some knowledge of basic classical physics (e.g., conservation of energy) will be helpful.

Although the course is aimed at undergraduate mathematics majors, other majors are welcome. The course also carries graduate credit both for mathematics students and for students from other departments.

Homework and solutions are under the supporting documents, see the course webpage and syllabus below for additional information.

Course webpage 

Syllabus

Lectures:   2:30 - 3:45 pm MW
Lind Hall 305
Instructor:   Professor Richard McGehee
     
Textbook:  

Hans Kaper and Hans EnglerMathematics & ClimateSIAM, 2013. more...

     
Course Grade:  
Homework    25
Project   65
Subjective Evaluation*   10
Total  

100

* The subjective evaluation includes class participation and effort.
     
Project:  

Each student must complete a class project according to the following schedule. Students are expected to discuss the project with the instructor before the preliminary proposal is due on October 1. Group projects are acceptable, subject to instructor approval.

Milestone      Format      Due Date
Preliminary Proposal    Written, < 1 page   October 1
Instructor Feedback       October 8
Final Proposal   Written, < 5 pages   October 15
Instructor Approval       October 22
Progress Report   Written, < 5 pages   November 5
Instructor Feedback       November 12
Progress Report  

Written, < 5 pages

  November 19
Instructor Feedback       November 24
Project Due   Written or Oral   December 3

 

Sponsored by

This course was offered by the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. Video support was provided by the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

Submitter

Colin James Grudzien

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Mathematics

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In This Series

  1. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 1

    07 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 1 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.       

  2. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 2

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 2 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  3. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 3

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 3 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  4. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 4

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 4 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  5. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 5

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 5 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  6. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 6

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 6 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  7. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 7

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 7 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  8. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 8

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 8 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its...

  9. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 9

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 9 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  10. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 10

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 10 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  11. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 11

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 11 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.      

  12. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 12

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 12 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  13. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 13

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 13 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  14. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 14

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 14 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.  

  15. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 15

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 15 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.  

  16. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 16

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 16 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  17. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 17

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 17 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  18. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 18

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 18 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  19. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 19

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 19 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  20. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 20

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 20 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.

  21. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 21

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 21 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.  

  22. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 22

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 22 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.  

  23. Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate at UMN - Lecture 23

    12 May 2015 | Presentations | Contributor(s): Richard McGehee

    This is lecture 23 in the series "Introduction to the Mathematics of Climate" offered at the University of Minnesota in 2014 with the support of MCRN and The Institute for Mathematics and its Applications.