Video/ Microlecture: Climate Change: The Physics Connection

  • A series of three lecture videos by Nadir Jeevanjee, Princeton University on the Physics of Climate Change. In these videos presented as blackboard lectures, Jeevanjee presents simple climate models and the underlying physics. These lectures include discussions on the following topics:
    • Introduction
    • The atmosphere in radiative-convective equilibrium
      1. Heuristics of RCE 
      2. A simple RCE climate model 
    • A two-box model for transient and equilibrium climate sensitivities 
    •  The water vapor feedback 
      1. Emission from unit optical depth 
      2. Ts-invariance of water vapor emission temperatures 
      3. Simpson’s Paradox And The Water Vapor Feedback 
    • Why does mean precipitation increase with warming?
      1. The Radiative Constraint On Precipitation
      2. Flux Divergence And Mission To Space 
      3. Ts-invariance and the deepening troposphere
    • On constant relative humidity
      1. Boundary Layer Relative Humidity
      2. Free Tropospheric Relative Humidity

Students will understand the connections between physics and Earth’s climate. They will also be able to derive simple models through the use of basic physics laws and theorems such as Thermodynamic laws, Radiative-convective Equilibrium, Feedback Cycles, Radiative constraint and Relative Humidity.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:  ‌

  1. What is the role of physics in understanding climate change?
  2. How can simple physical models be used to predict climate change?

About‌ ‌the‌ ‌tool‌ ‌

Tool‌ ‌Name‌ ‌The Physics of Climate Change: Three Blackboard Lectures on Simple Models in Climate Science
Discipline‌ ‌Physics
Topic(s)‌ ‌in‌ ‌Discipline‌ ‌Climate Change Overview, Climate Physics, Climate Models
Climate‌ ‌Topic‌ ‌ ‌Climate Literacy; Planetary Climate; Planetary Energy Balance
Type‌ ‌of‌ ‌tool‌ ‌ ‌Video/ Microlectures (70 mins)
Grade‌ ‌Level‌ ‌Undergraduate; Graduate
Location‌ ‌Global‌ ‌
Language‌ ‌English‌ ‌ ‌
Translation‌ ‌
Developed‌ ‌by‌ ‌Nadir Jeevanjee
Hosted‌ ‌at‌ ‌High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University Website
Link‌ ‌Link
Access‌ ‌Online‌ ‌
Computer‌ ‌Skills‌ ‌Basic‌ ‌