Spring 2013 Class Notes


All files are in Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt) or Word (.doc) format unless otherwise indicated

Email Prof. Nimmo (fnimmo@es.ucsc.edu) if you have problems accessing them


·        Course Syllabus                                            


Timing/Location: Mon/Wed/Fri from 2:00 to 3:10 in E&MS D236


Office hours: Mon/Wed/Fri 3:15 to 4:15 in E&MS A219 (or by appointment)


Course Goals: To provide an introduction into how we use remote-sensing observations and modeling to obtain a quantitative understanding of the structure, dynamics, composition and evolution of planetary atmospheres.


Course Outline: see below


Text:  F.W. Taylor, Planetary Atmospheres, Oxford Univ. Press (2010), available in the bookstore.


          Approximate Grading Scheme:

40% Weekly homeworks (due each Monday)

20% Midterm

40% Final


Late homework will be penalized at 10% per day.



EART160 is a prerequisite.

I am also going to assume some familiarity with ordinary differential equations.


Collaboration on homework assignments is permitted and encouraged. But the work that you hand in must be your own i.e. if I ask you to reproduce your work on the board without your notes, you must be able to do so. If you are ever unsure about the appropriate level of collaboration, please ask.


If you use the textbook or other outside sources (such as web sites) then you must cite the source that you use.



If you qualify for classroom accommodations because of a disability, please get an Accommodation Authorization from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and submit it to me in person outside of class (e.g. office hour) within the first two weeks of the quarter. Contact DRC at (831) 459-2089.



          Course Outline


Week 1 (April 1): Introduction, overview, basics.    

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Problem Set #1


Week 2 (April 8):  Energy balance, temperature.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.          Problem Set #2


Week 3 (April 15):  Composition and chemistry.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.              N/A


Week 4 (April 22):  Clouds and dust.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Problem Set #3

                   Patrick’s slides


Week 5 (April 29):  Radiative Transfer.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Problem Set #4



                    Midterm (Mon Apr 29th). BRING A CALCULATOR!

                             Formula sheet



Week 6 (May 6):  Dynamics 1.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Problem Set #5


Week 7 (May 13): Dynamics 2.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Problem Set #6


Week 8 (May 20): Exoplanets.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Jonathan’s slides


Week 9 (May 27): Evolution and climate change.

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.         Problem Set #7


Week 10 (June 3): Recap.         

          Powerpoint slides. PDF.       





                             Final exam is Mon 10th June 7:30-10:30 p.m. in D236

                                      Here is the formula sheet.