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MIT Environment & Sustainability: Earth Systems and Climate Science

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Advanced Fluid Dynamics of the Environment
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Theoretical topics of fluid dynamics relevant to natural phenomena or man-made hazards in water and atmosphere. Basic law of fluid motion. Scaling and approximations. Slow flows, with applications to drag on a particle and mud flow on a slope. Boundary layers: jets and plumes in pure fluids or in porous media. Thermal and buoyancy effects, selective withdrawal and internal waves. Transient boundary layers in impulsive flows or waves. Induced streaming and mass transport. Dispersion in steady flows or in waves. Effects of earth rotation on coastal flows. Wind induced flow in shallow seas. Stratified seas and coastal upwelling.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Mei, Chiang C.
Date Added:
01/01/2002
Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics
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"This undergraduate class is designed to introduce students to the physics that govern the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere. The focus of the course is on the processes that control the climate of the planet.AcknowledgmentsProf. Ferrari wishes to acknowledge that this course was originally designed and taught by Prof. John Marshall."

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Raffaele Ferrari
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Atmospheric Chemistry
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This course provides a detailed overview of the chemical transformations that control the abundances of key trace species in the Earth’s atmosphere. Emphasizes the effects of human activity on air quality and climate. Topics include photochemistry, kinetics, and thermodynamics important to the chemistry of the atmosphere; stratospheric ozone depletion; oxidation chemistry of the troposphere; photochemical smog; aerosol chemistry; and sources and sinks of greenhouse gases and other climate forcers.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Jesse Kroll
Date Added:
06/06/2022
Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations
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Survey of atmospheric and oceanic phenomena including the discussion of observations and theoretical interpretations. Topics covered include: monsoons; El Nino; planetary waves; atmospheric synoptic eddies and fronts; gulf stream rings; hurricanes; surface and internal gravity waves; and tides. In this course, we will look at many important aspects of the circulation of the atmosphere and ocean, from length scales of meters to thousands of km and time scales ranging from seconds to years. We will assume familiarity with concepts covered in course 12.003 (Physics of the Fluid Earth). In the early stages of the present course, we will make somewhat greater use of math than did 12.003, but the math we will use is no more than that encountered in elementary electromagnetic field theory, for example. The focus of the course is on the physics of the phenomena which we will discuss.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
R. Alan Plumb
Date Added:
01/01/2004
Chemicals in the Environment: Toxicology and Public Health (BE.104J)
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This course addresses the challenges of defining a relationship between exposure to environmental chemicals and human disease. Course topics include epidemiological approaches to understanding disease causation; biostatistical methods; evaluation of human exposure to chemicals, and their internal distribution, metabolism, reactions with cellular components, and biological effects; and qualitative and quantitative health risk assessment methods used in the U.S. as bases for regulatory decision-making. Throughout the term, students consider case studies of local and national interest.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
James Sherley
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Climate Physics and Chemistry
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This course introduces students to climate studies, including beginnings of the solar system, time scales, and climate in human history. It is offered to both undergraduate and graduate students with different requirements.

Subject:
Chemistry
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Carl Wunsch
Edward Boyle
Kerry Emanuel
Date Added:
01/02/2012
Climate Science, Risk & Solutions
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The goal of this site is to summarize the most important lines of evidence for human-caused climate change. It confronts the stickier questions about uncertainty in our projections, engages in a discussion of risk and risk management, and concludes by presenting different options for taking action. This site sticks to the facts and does not get into politics. We hope that the facts prepare you for more effective conversations with your community about values, trade-offs, politics, and actions.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Lecture
Author:
Kerry Emanuel
Date Added:
05/03/2022
D-Lab: Water, Climate Change, and Health
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D-Lab: Water, Climate Change, and Health is a project-based, experiential, and transdisciplinary course. Together with peers and experts, we will explore the vitally important interface of water, climate change, and health. This course addresses mitigation and adaptation to climate change as it pertains to water and health. Water-borne illness, malnutrition, and vector-borne diseases represent the top three causes of morbidity and mortality in regions of our focus. Students submit a term project, setting the stage for a lifelong commitment to communicating climate science to a broad public.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Juliet Simpson
Susan Murcott
Date Added:
06/06/2022
Ecology II: Engineering for Sustainability
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This course provides a review of physical, chemical, ecological, and economic principles used to examine interactions between humans and the natural environment. Mass balance concepts are applied to ecology, chemical kinetics, hydrology, and transportation; energy balance concepts are applied to building design, ecology, and climate change; and economic and life cycle concepts are applied to resource evaluation and engineering design. Numerical models are used to integrate concepts and to assess environmental impacts of human activities. Problem sets involve development of MATLABĺ¨ models for particular engineering applications. Some experience with computer programming is helpful but not essential.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Ecology
Economics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Dennis McLaughlin
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Ecology I: The Earth System
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" We will cover fundamentals of ecology, considering Earth as an integrated dynamic system. Topics include coevolution of the biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere and oceans; photosynthesis and respiration; the hydrologic, carbon and nitrogen cycles. We will examine the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems; regulation of the distribution and abundance of organisms; structure and function of ecosystems, including evolution and natural selection; metabolic diversity; productivity; trophic dynamics; models of population growth, competition, mutualism and predation. This course is designated as Communication-Intensive; instruction and practice in oral and written communication provided. Biology is a recommended prerequisite."

Subject:
Ecology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Edward DeLong
Penny Chisholm
Date Added:
01/01/2009
The Environment of the Earth's Surface
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A great variety of processes affect the surface of the Earth. Topics to be covered are production and movement of surficial materials; soils and soil erosion; precipitation; streams and lakes; groundwater flow; glaciers and their deposits. The course combines aspects of geology, climatology, hydrology, and soil science to present a coherent introduction to the surface of the Earth, with emphasis on both fundamental concepts and practical applications, as a basis for understanding and intelligent management of the Earth's physical and chemical environment.

Subject:
Geology
Hydrology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
John Southard
Date Added:
01/02/2011
Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry
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This course provides an introduction to the atmospheric chemistry involved in climate change, air pollution and biogeochemical cycles using a combination of hands-on laboratory, field studies, and simple computer models. Lectures will be accompanied by field trips to collect air samples for the analysis of gases, aerosols and clouds by the students.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Karin Ardon Dryer
Ronald G Prinn
Shuhei Ono
Date Added:
06/06/2022
Geobiology
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This course introduces the parallel evolution of life and the environment. Life processes are influenced by chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and the solid earth. In turn, life can influence chemical and physical processes on our planet. This course explores the concept of life as a geological agent and examines the interaction between biology and the earth system during the roughly 4 billion years since life first appeared.

Subject:
Biology
Geology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Roger Summons
Tanja Bosak
Date Added:
01/01/2009
Global Warming Science
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This course provides students with a scientific foundation of anthropogenic climate change and an introduction to climate models. It focuses on fundamental physical processes that shape climate (e.g. solar variability, orbital mechanics, greenhouse gases, atmospheric and oceanic circulation, and volcanic and soil aerosols) and on evidence for past and present climate change. During the course they discuss material consequences of climate change, including sea level change, variations in precipitation, vegetation, storminess, and the incidence of disease. This course also examines the science behind mitigation and adaptation proposals.

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Daniel Cziczo
David McGee
Kerry Emanuel
Sara Seager
Date Added:
01/01/2012
Groundwater Hydrology
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Fundamentals of subsurface flow and transport, emphasizing the role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle, the relation of groundwater flow to geologic structure, and the management of contaminated groundwater. Topics include: Darcy equation, flow nets, mass conservation, the aquifer flow equation, heterogeneity and anisotropy, storage properties, regional circulation, unsaturated flow, recharge, stream-aquifer interaction, well hydraulics, flow through fractured rock, numerical models, groundwater quality, contaminant transport processes, dispersion, decay, and adsorption. Includes laboratory and computer demonstrations.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Charles Harvey
Date Added:
01/01/2005
Introduction to Geology
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This undergraduate level course presents a basic study in geology. It introduces major minerals and rock types, rock-forming processes, and time scales; temperatures, pressures, compositions, structure of the Earth, and measurement techniques; geologic structures and relationships observable in the field; sediment movement and landform development by moving water, wind, and ice; crustal processes and planetary evolution in terms of global plate tectonics with an emphasis on ductile and brittle processes.

Subject:
Geology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Oliver Jagoutz
Taylor Perron
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Land, Water, Food and Climate
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This reading seminar examines land, water, food, and climate in a changing world, with an emphasis on key scientific questions about the connections between natural resources and food production. Students read and discuss papers on a range of topics, including water and land resources, climate change, demography, agroecology, biotechnology, trade, and food security. The readings are supplemented by short lectures that provide context and summarize main points. The seminar provides a broad perspective on one of the defining global issues of this century. Students consider scientific controversies as well as areas of general agreement and examine practical solutions for addressing critical problems.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Author:
Dennis McLaughlin
Date Added:
06/06/2022
Modeling Environmental Complexity, Fall 2014
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This course provides an introduction to the study of environmental phenomena that exhibit both organized structure and wide variability - i.e., complexity. Through focused study of a variety of physical, biological, and chemical problems in conjunction with theoretical models, we learn a series of lessons with wide applicability to understanding the structure and organization of the natural world. Students will also learn how to construct minimal mathematical, physical, and computational models that provide informative answers to precise questions.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Daniel Rothman
Date Added:
01/01/2014
Paleoceanography
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" This class examines tools, data, and ideas related to past climate changes as seen in marine, ice core, and continental records. The most recent climate changes (mainly the past 500,000 years, ranging up to about 2 million years ago) will be emphasized. Quantitative tools for the examination of paleoceanographic data will be introduced (statistics, factor analysis, time series analysis, simple climatology)."

Subject:
Oceanography
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Edward Boyle
Date Added:
01/01/2008
Physics and Chemistry of the Terrestrial Planets
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"This course introduces the structure, composition, and physical processes governing the terrestrial planets, including their formation and basic orbital properties. Topics include plate tectonics, earthquakes, seismic waves, rheology, impact cratering, gravity and magnetic fields, heat flux, thermal structure, mantle convection, deep interiors, planetary magnetism, and core dynamics. Suitable for majors and non-majors seeking general background in geophysics and planetary structure."

Subject:
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
MIT
Provider Set:
MIT OpenCourseWare
Author:
Benjamin Weiss
Leigh Royden
Date Added:
01/01/2008