The laboratory for GG 140 consists of five exercises during the semester where the students learn to observe the atmosphere and measure important physical quantities. For Open Yale Courses we present only one of these labs; the Quinnipiac River Field Trip. This field trip introduces the students to the part of the hydrologic cycle where precipitation over the continent returns to the oceans in rivers. During a two-hour tour, we visited five sites along the Quinnipiac River observing temperature, salinity and streamflow. In addition, water samples were taken and later analyzed for dissolved cations. From direct observation, the role of river discharge and tidal phase is identified. From the cation data, issues of water mixing, ocean salinity and the calcium budget of the ocean are discussed. The Quinnipiac River Field Trip is related to several lectures in the course such as lectures 9, 10 and 11 (Water in the Atmosphere); 15, 16 and 17 (Climate and Seasons); and 20 (Ocean Salinity).
This course explores the physical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, and climate. Quantitative methods for constructing mass and energy budgets. Topics include clouds, rain, severe storms, regional climate, the ozone layer, air pollution, ocean currents and productivity, the seasons, El Niño, the history of Earth's climate, global warming, energy, and water resources.
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