The course will investigate the reasons why certain climates are located where they are, will look at global atmospheric circulation patterns, climatic graphs, and seasonal temperature and rainfall patterns. Analysis will be made of the associated vegetation types and structures, as well as the operation of the resulting biomes and ecosystems for selected climatic zones.
WEEK 1 THE GENERAL ATMOSPHERIC CIRCULATION:
The basics of climate, how it differs from weather, the radiation variations, pressure differences, forces governing movement, Hadley cell, ITCZ, Upper Westerlies and the jet stream, the General Atmospheric Circulation.
WEEK2 EQUATORIAL RAIN FOREST:
The reasons for the climatic pattern, intertropical convergence zone, convectional rainfall, vegetation, structure of the rainforest, latosols, rainforest destruction.
WEEK 3 TROPICAL CONTINENTAL CLIMATE (SAVANNAH):
Where this climatic zone is located, the reasons for the dry and wet seasons, the climatic graph, the vegetation types and variability in the savannah.
WEEK 4 THE HOT DESERT CLIMATE:
Why do deserts exist? The major deserts of the world. Their relationship to the global atmospheric circulation. Desertification.
WEEK 5 THE MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE (Warm Temp Western Margin)
Global location in northern and southern hemispheres, reasons for the long hot dry summers and mild wet winters. Vegetation in the Mediterranean zone and changes due to human impact.
WEEK 6 COOL TEMPERATE WESTERN MARGIN (DECIDUOUS FOREST):
The climate of the British Isles and Western Europe. Temperature and rainfall patterns, the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, wood land ecosystems, soils brown earths and podzols.
WEEK 7 COLD CONTINENTAL INTERIOR CLIMATE:
Where this climate zone is found. The reasons for the large seasonal temperature range, the effect of continentality. The adaptations of the vegetation, The Taiga Biome.
WEEK 8 TUNDRA CLIMATE:
The geographical location, the reasons for the very low precipitation, the pressure and temperature conditions. How is the vegetation adapted to the climatic conditions? Permafrost. Human impact on ecosystem.
WEEK 9 MONSOON CLIMATE:
The workings and causes of the Monsoon. The Monsoon's relationship to the global atmospheric circulation, pressure differences. Variations in the Monsoon from year to year. Reference to India and Bangladesh.
WEEK10 MOUNTAIN CLIMATES:
What happens to temperature and precipitation at higher altitudes? An analysis of Alpine climates and microclimates in the Alps, windward and leeward sides, vegetation changes with altitude.