ESE 131. Introduction to Physical Oceanography and Climate


  • Professor: Eli Tziperman
  • Term: Fall
  • Day: T, Th
  • Time: 10:30-11:45AM
  • School: Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Course ID: 156500
  • Subject Area: Environmental Science and Engineering

Observations and fundamentals of ocean dynamics, from the role of the oceans in global climate and climate change to beach waves. Topics include the greenhouse effect, oceans and global warming; El Niño events in the equatorial Pacific Ocean; currents: the wind driven ocean circulation and the Gulf stream; coastal upwelling and fisheries; temperature, salinity, the overturning circulation and its effect on global climate stability and variability; wave motions: surface ocean waves, internal waves, tsunamis and tides; ocean observations by ships, satellites, moorings, floats and more.

A field trip to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod will be held during the course, which will be an opportunity to learn about sea-going oceanography. Software for scientific computation and graphics will be introduced (students may choose either Matlab or python), which will be used for some homework assignments.

Notes: EPS 131 is also offered as ESE 131. Students may not take both for credit. This course fulfills the EPS sub-discipline requirement of Atmosphere(s) and Oceans. Given in alternate years.
Recommended Prep: Mathematics 21a and 21b; and Physical Sciences 12a, Physics 15a or Applied Physics 50a; or equivalents/permission of instructor.
Jointly Offered with: Faculty of Arts & Sciences as E-PSCI 131