Reading: General Circulation Models of Climate

A reading titled ‘General Circulation Models of Climate’ by Spencer Weart hosted on the website of Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. This reading is a supplement to the book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’ by Spencer Weart. It summarises the complexity of Earth System Models and challenges in creating a single global climate model. The reading gives details of the first model calculation by Syukuro Manabe, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2021, on how Earth’s average temperature would rise a few degrees if the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is doubled.

Students will learn about General Circulation Models, the Earth System and its complexity, and methods of weather and climate prediction.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What are the various Earth System Models?
  2. Why is it difficult to have a comprehensive climate model that accurately predicts climate behaviour?

About the Tool

Tool NameGeneral Circulation Models of Climate
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Models, General Circulation Model, Modelling, Earth System Models, Greenhouse Gas Models, Climate System
Climate TopicPlanetary Climate, Planetary Energy Balance
Type of toolReading
Grade LevelHighschool, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atCenter for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: Chaos Theory and Global Warming

A reading titled ‘Chaos in the Atmosphere’ by Spencer Weart hosted on the website of Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. This reading is a supplement to Spencer Weart’s book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’, that explains complex models about weather prediction and chaos theory. 

Students will learn about chaos theory with respect to the Earth’s atmosphere and climate system. They will also learn how chaos theory is used to make predictions and calculations for climate change.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is chaos theory?
  2. What makes climate calculation difficult to predict?
  3. How can small changes lead to catastrophic climate impact?

About the Tool

Tool NameChaos in the Atmosphere
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineChaos Theory, Climate Models, Atmospheric Physics, Weather Prediction
Climate TopicPlanetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance
Type of toolReading
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atCenter for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: A History of Climate Models

A reading titled ‘Simple Models of Climate Change’ by Spencer Weart hosted on the website of Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. This reading is a supplement to Spencer Weart’s book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’. This reading provides a history of climate change models from 1950 and how they evolved over time. 

Students will learn about various topics in physics and earth sciences such as the greenhouse effect, atmospheric radiation, heat transfer, and general atmospheric circulation models. They will also learn how some ideas – correct and incorrect, about climate sciences were theorised and evolved with time.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. When was the first climate change model theorised?
  2. What were some of the misconceptions about climate change in the mid-20th century?
  3. What ideas and methods about climate change from the past have carried on into current climate change models?

About the Tool

Tool NameSimple Models of Climate Change
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Climate Models, Atmospheric Circulation, Heath Transfer, Radiation, Chaos Theory
Climate TopicPlanetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance
Type of toolReading
Grade LevelHighschool, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atCenter for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect

A reading titled ‘The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect’ by Spencer Weart hosted on the website of Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics. This reading is a supplement to the book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’ by Spencer Weart. It includes discussions on the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere and how it impacts Earth’s temperature. The reading also discusses the pioneering work of Svante Arrhenius, Guy Stewart Callendar, and Charles David (Dave) Keeling. 

Students will be introduced to the Greenhouse Effect, Keeling Curve, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, and how increased carbon dioxide concentrations can cause an increase in the surface temperature of the Earth. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is the Greenhouse Effect?
  2. How does increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere lead to warming of the planet?

About the Tool

Tool NameThe Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineGreenhouse Effect, Greenhouse Gases, Keeling Curve
Climate TopicGreenhouse Effect; Planetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance
Type of toolReading
Grade LevelMiddle School, Highschool
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atCenter for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

E-learning Course/ Reading: ‘The Discovery of Global Warming’

This E-learning course is a website of the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics, created to supplement the book titled, ‘The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart. The original book provides a history of scientific discovery into climate change as a single story. The website provides each chapter as a separate essay which is downloadable and is updated annually. 

It consists of the following chapters that detail each topic under climate change:

  1. Introduction and Summary 
  2. Influences on Climate
    1. The Carbon Dioxide Greenhouse Effect 
      1. Roger Revelle’s Discovery 
    2. Other Greenhouse Gases 
    3. Aerosols: Volcanoes, Dust, Clouds
    4. Biosphere: How Life Alters Climate
    5. Changing Sun, Changing Climate?
    6. Ocean Currents and Climate
  3. Climates Observed
    1. The Modern Temperature Trend 
    2. Rapid Climate Change Abrupt climate change
      1. Uses of Radiocarbon Dating
    3. Past Climate Cycles and Ice Ages 
      1. Temperatures from Fossil Shells 
  4. Theory
    1. Simple Models of Climate Change 
      1. Chaos in the Atmosphere 
      2. Venus & Mars 
    2. General Circulation Models of Climate
      1. Basic Radiation Calculations
      2.  Arakawa’s Computation Device 
  5. Climate and Society
    1. Impacts of Climate Change
      1. Ice Sheets, Rising Seas, Floods
    2. The Public and Climate Change
      1. Wintry Doom
    3. Government: The View from Washington
      1. Climate Modification Schemes
      2. Money for Keeling: Monitoring CO2 Levels 
    4. International Cooperation 
      1. Climatology as a Profession
  6. Conclusions: A Personal Note 

Students will learn about climate change sciences and history from the time of Ancient Greeks to the modern period. They will be introduced to scientific methodologies used to prove how modern climate change is due to anthropogenic activities. Additionally, students will also be able to access all resources used to study about the scientific experiments for themselves. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is anthropogenic climate change?
  2. Name some prominent climate change theories and how they were proven/disproven?
  3. What are some of the simple climate change models that draw the connection between Earth’s Climate System and human activities?

About the Tool

Tool NameThe Discovery of Global Warming
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Geography
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change, Global Warming, Climate Physics, Earth System, Climate System
Climate TopicIntroduction to Climate Change; Greenhouse Effect; Planetary Climate
Type of toolE-learning Course; Reading
Grade LevelMiddle School, High School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed bySpencer Weart
Hosted atCenter for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: An Introduction to Atmospheric Thermodynamics

A video lecture titled, ‘Atmospheric Thermodynamics – Introduction’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This video lecture discusses the laws of thermodynamics, the gas laws, Boyle’s Law, Hooke’s law, and Dalton’s Law.

Students will learn about the basics of thermodynamics and its importance in atmospheric physics. They will learn about the role of pressure, partial pressure, temperature, and molecular behaviour in thermodynamic calculations. Additionally, students will also learn about the role of thermodynamic laws and calculations in various fields of studies.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What are the laws of thermodynamics?
  2. How do changes in temperature and pressure impact thermodynamic calculations?
  3. How are thermodynamic calculations used to predict climate and weather patterns?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture-10: Atmospheric Thermodynamics- Introduction
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineThermodynamics, Atmospheric Thermodynamics, Atmospheric Sciences, First law of Thermodynamics, Second Law of Thermodynamics, Earth system, Boyle’s Law, Hooke’s law, Dalton’s Law
Climate TopicClimate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (51 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Thermodynamics and the Hydrostatic Equation

A video lecture titled, ‘The Hydrostatic Equation’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This video lecture introduces the hydrostatic equation and explains in detail the concept of ‘virtual temperature’ and its importance in thermodynamics. 

Students will learn about virtual temperature, impact of water vapour on virtual temperature, hydrostatic equation, impact of pressure on hydrostatic equation, and geo potential and its importance in thermodynamics.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is ‘virtual temperature’?
  2. Given the virtual temperature of air is 298K and water vapour content is 1.5%, what is the actual temperature of air?
  3. What role does virtual temperature play in Earth’s Climate System?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture-11: The Hydrostatic Equation
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineAtmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Virtual Temperature, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Hydrostatic Equation
Climate TopicClimate and the Atmosphere; Climate and the Hydrosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (50 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Claussius Clayperon and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Two video lectures titled, ‘The Second Law of Thermodynamics – Clausius Clapeyron Relation’ and ‘Clausius Clapeyron Relation (Contd.)’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures provide details about the second law of thermodynamics, Clausius Clapeyron equation, Carnot cycle, and entropy,. It also discusses radiation laws, radiative transfer, Prevost’s theory, wave theory, particle theory, and black body behaviour. 

Students will learn about the Clausius Clapeyron equation, how saturated vapour pressure changes with temperature, and the impact of temperature and pressure changes on water vapour and earth’s climate. They will also learn how to calculate the reversible and adiabatic process called the isentropic process and quasistatic processes.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Define the following:
  1. the Second Law of Thermodynamics 
  2. the Clausius Clapeyron equation
  3. Entropy
  4. Radiative transfer
  5. Adiabatic Process
  6. Prevost’s theory
  1. How does height, pressure and water vapour percentage impact the atmospheric temperature?
  2. How can mechanical engineers contribute to reduce global warming using the second law of thermodynamics?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture – 29: The Second Law of Thermodynamics – Clausius Clapeyron Relation and Lecture – 30: Clausius Clapeyron Relation (Contd.)
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Second Law of Thermodynamics, Thermodynamics, Clausius Clapeyron equation, Radiative Transfer, Prevost’s Theory
Climate TopicClimate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (42 mins and 45 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink 1, Link 2
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Planck’s Law and Earths Climate

A video lecture titled, ‘Planck’s distribution and Inverse square law’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lecture gives a detailed explanation about Planck’s Law for black body distribution. It also includes discussions on Wien’s displacement law, radiative loss, Simpson’s rule, Trapezoidal rule, Gauss quads, the Stefan-Boltzmann Law,  and Newton Raphson method.

Students will learn about Planck’s law and how to calculate Earth’s temperature. They will also be introduced to photosphere, flux density, planetary albedo, reflectivity, absorptivity, transmissivity, emissivity for land,  and emissivity of ocean which are used to calculate Earth’s temperature and determine its climate.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Define the following:
    1. Black body radiation
    2. Albedo Effect
    3. Adsorption
    4. Transmissivity
    5. Emissivity of land
  2. How is Earth’s temperature calculate given the following scenario:
    1. Earth as a black body
    2. Earth with oceans, snow covered land and a simple layer of non-interactive air

About the tool

Tool NameLecture – 32: Planck’s distribution and Inverse square law
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Planck’s Law, Black Body Radiation, Earth Climate System, Albedo Effect, Stefan-Boltzmann Law
Climate TopicIntroduction to Climate Change; Planetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance; Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture ( 47 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Physics of Scattering and Greenhouse Gases

Two video lectures titled, ‘Physics of scattering, emission and absorption’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures explain the behaviour of Earth’s atmosphere due to interaction between gases and sun’s radiation which lead to radiative absorption, emission and scattering.

Students will learn about reflection, refraction, isotropic scattering, greenhouse gases, extinction coefficient, Prevost law, Stefan Boltzmann law, thermal conductivity of water, Kirchhoff’s law, Marshall-Palmer distribution, Rayleigh scattering, Mie scattering, Doppler and Lorentz broadening and Gaussian distribution.

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How do greenhouse gases interact with incoming solar radiation?
  2. Discuss the physics of scattering in the atmosphere.

About the tool

Tool NameLecture – 33 and 34: Physics of scattering, emission and absorption
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Prevost law, Stefan Boltzmann law, Kirchhoff’s law, Marshall-Palmer distribution, Rayleigh scattering
Climate TopicIntroduction to Climate Change; Planetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance; Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (48 mins and 41 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink 1 , Link 2
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Radiative Transfer

Two video lectures titled, ‘Radiative Transfer Equation’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. These video lectures discuss how to calculate radiative transfer equation and further discusses its importance in atmospheric sciences, particularly in satellite remote sensing. 

Students will learn about isotropic scattering, radiation derivative calculation, spectral emissivity and reflectivity, absorption coefficient, Beer-Lambert’s law, and Schwarzschild’s equation. They will also learn how to apply the radiative transfer equation to multispectral infrared sounder, infrared imager, microwave sounder, and microwave imager  for satellite remote sensing and satellite meteorology. 

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Define the following:
    1. Radiative transfer
    2. Remote sensing
    3. Spectral emissivity
    4. Beer-Lambert’s law
  2. How can radiative transfer calculations be used for atmosphere remote sensing?

About the tool

Tool NameLecture – 35 and 36: Radiative Transfer Equation – Derivation
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Atmospheric Sciences, Atmospheric Physics, Radiative Transfer, Radiative Transfer Equation, Absorption Coefficient, Beer-Lambert’s law,  Schwarzschild’s Equation
Climate TopicPlanetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance; Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of toolVideo Lecture (50 mins and 42 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL (https://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/)
LinkLink 1 , Link 2
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video/ Microlecture: Quantum Physics

A microlecture that describes the photoelectric effect and how it works with respect to greenhouse gases. This video by Shohini Ghose for TEDxVictoria describes how light and matter possess energy and how the transfer of this energy occurs between different bodies.

Students will learn briefly about the discovery of the photoelectric effect and its relevance to quantum physics. They will further be introduced to various technologies, such as solar cells, which utilize this phenomenon and how they may help combat global warming. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Describe the photoelectric effect.
  2. Describe the greenhouse effect. 
  3. Discuss the various technologies discussed in the video that utilize the photoelectric effect that may help combat global warming.

About the tool

Tool NameHow Quantum Physics Can Help Us Fight Climate Change
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineQuantum Physics, Photoelectric Effect, Photons, Wavelengths of Light, Visible Light, Infrared Radiation, Greenhouse Effect, Solar Cells, Quantum Entanglement
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere; Energy, Economics and Climate Change; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation
Type of tool Video/ Microlecture (15 mins)
Grade LevelHigh School
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byShohini Ghose
Hosted atTEDxVictoria
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: First Law of Thermodynamics

A video lecture titled, ‘Basic Thermodynamics’ from the e-learning course, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This video lecture explains and details the first law of thermodynamics (Q – W = Delta E) in the context of atmospheric science.

Students will be introduced to the first law of thermodynamics. They will further be introduced to terms such as adiabatic and isothermal processes and related equations and methods of calculating geo-potential thickness using Radiosonde data. 

A transcript of the lecture is also provided.

  1. State the first law of thermodynamics with the equation. 
  2. State the relationship between pressure and volume. 
  3. Discuss the first law of thermodynamics with respect to Earth’s atmospheric system. 

About the tool

Tool NameBasic Thermodynamics
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineThermodynamics, First Law of Thermodynamics, Adiabatic Process, Isothermal Process, Energy, Atmospheric Sciences, Earth system, Atmosphere
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of tool Video Lecture (49 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

E-Learning Course: Atmospheric Science

A e-learning course titled, ‘Introduction to Atmospheric Science’ developed by C Balaji, IIT Madras, for National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL), India. This course contains video lectures on the following topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. Atmosphere-A brief survey (Pressure, Temperature and Chemical composition)
  3. Atmosphere-A brief survey contd … (Vertical structure of the atmosphere)
  4. Vertical structure of atmosphere contd … and The Earth system – Oceans
  5. The Earth system – Oceans Contd … and Marine biosphere
  6. The Earth system – Hydrological cycle
  7. The Earth system – Hydrological cycle contd … and Carbon cycle
  8. The Earth system – Carbon cycle contd…, and Carbon in the oceans Earth’s crust
  9. The Earth system – Carbon in the oceans Earth’s crust
  10. Atmospheric Thermodynamics- Introduction
  11. The hydrostatic equation
  12. Hypsometric equation and pressure at sea level
  13. Basic Thermodynamics
  14. Concept of air parcel and dry adiabatic lapse rate
  15. Potential temperature
  16. Skew-T ln-P chart
  17. Problems using Skew-T ln-P chart
  18. Problems using Skew-T ln-P chart.
  19. Problems using Skew-T ln-P chart..
  20. Lifting Condensation Level (LCL)
  21. Lifting condensation level Contd…
  22. Saturated Adiabatic and Psuedo-adiabatic processes
  23. Equivalent potential temperature and wet bulb potential temperature
  24. Normand’s rule – Chinook winds
  25. Problems on Chinook wind and static stability
  26. Static stability-Brunt-Visala frequency
  27. Conditional and convective instability
  28. Static stability – Problems using radiosonde data and skew T ln P chart
  29. The second law of thermodynamics – Clausius Clapeyron relation
  30. Clausius Clapeyron relation contd..
  31. Atmospheric radiation – Radiation laws
  32. Planck’s distribution and Inverse square law
  33. Physics of scattering, emission and absorption
  34. Physics of scattering, emission and absorption contd…
  35. Radiative Transfer Equation – Derivation
  36. Radiative Transfer Equation contd …
  37. Radiative heating profiles of the atmosphere
  38. Climate Dynamics – Introduction
  39. Climate sensitivity and feedback
  40. Climate change
  41. Atmospheric dynamics

A transcript on the lectures is also provided.

Students will be introduced to the various aspects of atmospheric sciences and learn about some of the key phenomena, theories and equations used to study it.  

About the tool

Tool NameIntroduction to Atmospheric Science
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Physics
Topic(s) in DisciplineAtmospheric Sciences, Earth system, Atmosphere, Thermodynamics, Second Law of Thermodynamics, Clausius Clapeyron, Planck’s law, Radiative Transfer, Radiation 
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of tool E – Learning Course
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byC Balaji, IIT Madras
Hosted atNPTEL
Linkhttps://nptel.ac.in/courses/119/106/119106008/
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Video Lecture: Quantum Mechanics and Climate Change

A lecture that describes how quantum mechanics plays a role in understanding Earth’s climate systems and climate change. This lecture by Brad Marston, Brown University, uses Richard Feynman’s double slit experiment to explain how changing concentrations of greenhouse gases could potentially affect Earth’s climate.

Students will be provided an overview of several key concepts in physics, such as the photoelectric effect, and some of the important equations used. They will further be introduced to the changing levels of CO2, atmospheric dynamics, how temperatures are measured, and how melting sea ice is affecting the circulation of wind, among other things.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. State the Photoelectric Effect along with its equation.
  2. Discuss the equation used to measure temperatures on different planets. 
  3. Discuss how the melting of ice affects the circulation of winds?

About the tool

Tool NameHow Quantum Physics Can Help Us Fight Climate Change
DisciplinePhysics, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineQuantum Physics, Photoelectric Effect, Photons, Quantum Mechanics, Atmospheric Dynamics, Planck’s Constant, Richard Feynman Experiment 
Climate Topic Climate and the Atmosphere
Type of tool Video Lecture (1h 17mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byBrad Marston, Brown University
Hosted atYouTube
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching module: The Physics of Climate Change Prediction

A teaching module developed by Climateprediction.net on climate physics and climate models. The module for ‘A level Physics’ students includes introductory resources, exercises and worksheets on climate change models. The module consists of the following sections:

  • Introducing climate prediction
  • Climate modelling using Modellus
  • Simple Climate Model
  • The logistic equation
  • Advanced Climate Model
  • Science Behind the News Headlines

Students will be introduced to iterative modelling with spatial and temporal resolutions that can be used in Gas Laws and Thermal Physics. They will also learn about advanced logistic equations and how to apply them to the issue of climate change. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. What is a simple energy balance model? 
  2. How can logistic equations be used to predict climate and weather changes?
  3. Discuss, with example, how climate change science is portrayed in the media?

About the tool

Tool NameA level Physics
DisciplinePhysics
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Physics, Thermal Physics, Gas Law, Atmospheric Physics, Chaos Theory, Chaotic Systems, Climate Change Models, Logistic Equation, Greenhouse Gas Effect
Climate Topic Planetary Energy Balance; Planetary Climate; Climate Variability Record
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelHigh School, Undergraduate
LocationGlobal 
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byClimate Prediction
Hosted atClimate Prediction Website
Linkhttps://www.climateprediction.net/education/a-level-physics/
AccessOnline/Offline
Computer SkillsBasic