5.4 An Integrated Approach for Developing Concepts in Radiation, Energy Balance and Climate

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 2:15 PM
308 (Washington State Convention Center )
Peter Pilewskie, Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Classroom demonstrations and analysis of real data have tangible benefits in an undergraduate atmospheric physics curriculum. For example, a student’s understanding of the fundamentals of atmospheric radiation and how they apply to the greenhouse effect and climate change is often muddied by confusing jargon and poor descriptions in how the material is commonly presented in a passive, lecture-only setting. We present a basic description of radiative processes, in addition to a simple slab model, that lead to a very simple description of the atmospheric greenhouse effect. Then we demonstrate these principles with a collaborative class project analyzing rooftop radiation data from broad-band solar and thermal infrared radiometers. The effect on student learning is an improved understanding of the mechanisms behind some of the most important concepts in undergraduate atmospheric physics education.
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