Department of Geology/School of Interdisciplinary Studies

WCP 401/GLG 401/501

Spring 2002

Miami University

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Search the Climate Change Database!



Dr. Hays Cummins

222 Boyd Hall;



This plot was generated from data downloaded from NOAA

A view of the Mt. Kilimanjaro volcano Ice core from the Ohio State Byrd Polar Research Center. Quicktime Movie! (~19mb)

Questions the Course Will Address:

  • Is climate changing?
  • How do I measure climate change?
  • What does it matter? What impact will climate change have on me? On life on earth?
  • How fast is climate changing?
  • What can I do about it? Can I do anything about it?
  • Is human activity the cause of climate change?

Course Content:

The course will consist of lectures, discussions, student presentations, exercises (modelling using STELLA), tests, and a final project. Both the presentation (15 minute lecture to the class) and final project (10 page maximum) should include models using STELLA.

Most of the first part of the course will be comprised of lectures by Professors Boardman and Cummins and discussions of the article readings that are assigned. During the second portion of the course each of you will be asked to make a presentation to the class.

Course Meetings:

There will be two 100 minute class meetings per week.


The readings I have selected include 1) the most recent, good articles on a subject as well as 2) the classic articles on the subject. I may modify the assigned readings during the course to include late-breaking articles and/or to include remedial articles.

The readings are all on electronic reserve in the Brill Science Library. You must read the articles before each week's meetings. Discussion may occur any time during that week; so be prepared.

Final Project:

The topic of the final paper / project will be chosen in consultation with your professors on the first week of the course! Each team wil consist of two students.

Your Research Will Result in:
  • Leading One Class Discussion Using the Current Literature
  • A Powerpoint Presentation of Your Research Topic
  • Developing a Web Page on Your Research Topic

    I expect your presentation to be professional. I will speak with each of you regarding your presentation, and I will ask that you confer frequently with us regarding its progress. Use computer-generated graphics, slides, and models. You will have 15 minutes to make your presentation.

    The final project will be due on the Thursday of week 14, and should be no more than 10 pages of text. It should contain adequate references, figures, tables, etc., and it should be typed (double-spaced, readable font, ...).

    Project Topic Grab Bag

  • Greenhouse Warming
  • El Nino
  • Climate Reconstruction/Investigation and Interpretation
    • Pollen
    • Corals
    • Ocean Sediments
    • ETC
  • Kyoto Protocol
  • Acid rain
  • Response of Ecosystems to Global Change
  • Global Disease
  • Snowball Earth
  • Climate Proxies
  • Food and Hunger
  • Storms (tornadoes and hurricanes)
  • Wally Broecker's Contributions to understanding climate Change
  • Tropical Rainforests
  • Solar System Weather
  • Vertebrate Evolution and Climate Change
  • Global Water Cycle (Past and Present)
  • Rivers
  • Life History Changes in Plants and Animals
  • Invasive Species
  • The Plesitocene Epoch
  • Sea Level
  • Global Warming: Truth or Fiction?
  • And More, as ideas develop
  • Prerequisites:

    Either WCP 221 , WCP 222, GLG 244 or permission of the instructor.


  • Your grade in the course will be earned according to the following weighting system:
    Grade Components
    Class Discussion Leadership
    Final Project
    Participation (Assignments, Web Postings, Discussion)


    This course includes both lectures and classroom discussion. Class discussions are an important part of this course, and student participation is an important part of the class discussions.

    Students should come to each class prepared to discuss the reading assignments. During a typical class, each student will be called upon to respond to questions and/or to add his/her ideas to the discussion. A log of student "participation" will be kept by the instructors, and this log will be shared with individual students several times during the course; so that students know how they are performing and what is expected of them in terms of participation.

    [Purdue Weather Processor]


    Synergy. Two of the tropical Pacific's climate cycles turned warm simultaneously in the early 1980s, fueling the 1982-83 El Niño. From Kerr. R.A. 1999. In North American Climate, a More Local Control. Science 283:1109.

    Books, Articles, Journals, Library Resources

    A Little "Jump Start" for your Presentations and Projects!

    The world's largest bookstore!

    The Library of Congress

    The Current Issue of Scientific American

    Science Magazine

    Other Library Resources

    Miami Link

    Ohio Link Electronic Journals--Amazing Online Resource

    Search the Ohio Link Journal Index

    Earth & Planetary Sciences
    Environmental Sciences
    Physics & Astronomy
    Life Sciences

    Other Cool Library Stuff!

    FIRST SEARCH    Biology Science Citation Index Applied Science & Technology    Environment and Ecology
    AGRICCOLA   Geology    GEOBASE Life Sciences   General Periodicals  

    On 4/20/00, We Visited The Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State--We had a magnificent tour of the facility. Large Quicktime Movie! (~50mb)

    A view of the Mt. Kilimanjaro volcano Ice core from the Byrd Polar Research center. Smaller Quicktime Movie! (~19mb)

    Global Climate Change, Spring 2002, Student Research Database

    Student Research Feedback and Peer Review

    The Search for a Project Topic:Let the Fun Begin

    Everyone will be involved in a semester long research project. I expect timely submissions to the Climate Change Project Database. This includes your ideas, proposals, peer review, and progress reports. Postings beyond the due dates (see syllabus) will result in a 10% grade penalty/day.

    This work will require an extensive statement of the topic of interest in combination with an in-depth literature review. The research topic must be integrated with data analysis and interpretation. The report will include actual research data obtained and analyzed from sources on NOAA's World Wide Web Paleoclimate Database (or other sources) as well as the most recent literature sources that address your research interests on global change. The report will take the form of a professional journal article. The report will be presented orally as well at the end of the semester.

    Here is a Research Topic "Jump Start:"

    If you are ready, you can Enter Your Own Research Proposal or Discussion Topic NOW. Or, respond to a particular research submission! Perhaps you have some insights that can help! To do so, browse the works in progress by clicking on the research area of your choice. Then add your response!

    Global Climate Change Research Feedback & Database

    DOWNLOAD the Paper Posting HTML Formating HELP SHEET!

    We also have a GUIDE for depositing articles, images, data, etc in your research folders.

    Global Climate Change Project Entry Forms.......

    Global Climate Change Project Submissions...

    Global Climate Change Progress Reports



    View Progress Reports & new progress postings.....

    Search the Ecology WWW Database!

    Got Mac OS X 10.2 or Higher?   Download Hays' Sherlock Channel

    Try it, you'll like it!

    Where do I start? This database is an extension of my core interests--look at it as an appendage to these web pages. From severe weather, to hurricanes, satellite imagery, computer modeling, climate change (el nino, greenhouse warming), evolution, origins, astronomy, paleontology, earth science resources, tropical ecosystems, biodiversity, marine ecology, herpetology, research feedback--it's all there (over 290,000 web pages!).

    Enter some key words to search by:

    Find pages with of these words and return results.

    Document Summaries Search Phonetically Begins With Searching 

    Search WWW Search Hays' Website

    How might the chemical weathering of the Himalayas change climate?

    Course Syllabus

    So, you're probably wondering how we are going to accomplish the course goals! Well, I'd like to have a balance among current climate topics (modern day climate and weather), the past (as found in the most pertinent literature) and Student Projects (Hot Climate Topics). For the first 2/3's of the course, each week one class period will be devoted to modern climate, the other to modern climate change literature. Then, in the final 1/3 of the course, we will continue with modern climate, but more importantly, we will concentrate on student led discussions and presenations on Research Topics.

    Course Schedules--Topics, Readings & Assignments

    Reading/Other Assignments

    Introduction to the Course: A General Overview and Expectations

    The Earth & It's Atmosphere
    Energy:Warming the Earth & the Atmosphere

    Fundamentals of the heat budget;

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 1 & 2

    Post "Goals and Expectations"

    Read article Biological Consequences of global warming: is the signal already ....

    Post Question concerning the article

    Lab: The Sun Lab--Finding Our Latitude Using Sun Angles
    Due: Week 3


    Atmospheric Moisture

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 5

    Read article Emerging Marine Diseases--Climate Links and Anthropogenic Factors ....Post Response

    Aquaint yourself with the Midwest Weather Site

    Aquaint yourself with the Radar & Severe Weather Site


    Condensation: Dew, Fog, and Clouds

    Post Project Ideas

    **Sun Lab Due

    Meteorology Today, Ch.6

    Post Question and One Response regarding Ch. 6

    Sea Level Reading (s): Download PDF Article#1: Sea Level

    Post One question on the Sea-Level reading!

    One Question Quiz: Calculating relative humidity (see Ch. 5)

    Student-Led Discussion: Sea Level


    Stability & Cloud Development

    Provide "Research Ideas Feedback" to Peers

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 7

    Post Question and One Response regarding Ch. 7

    Student-Led Discussion: Kyoto Protocol: A useless appendage to an irrelevant treaty



    Provide Feedback to Peers

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 8

    Post Question and One Response regarding Ch. 8

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment: Climatic Consequences of the year 1258 Volcanic Eruption


    Atmospheric in Motion: Air Pressure, Forces and Winds

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 9 Post Question and One Response regarding Ch. 9

    Student-Led Discussion: Politics of Climate Change This week's daily double:

  • Counting the Costs:the growing role of economics in environmental decision making
  • Some Economics of Global Warming

    As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates

  • 7

    Wind: Small-Scale and Local Systems/ Wind: Global Systems

    Post Progress Reports

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 10 and 11

    Student-Led Discussion: Global warming

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment#7: Climatic Impact of Tropical Lowland Deforestation on Nearby Montane Cloud Forests Visit the Monteverde Climate Lecture image webpage

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment#8: Three articles on Greenhouse Warming

    As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates


    Air Masses and Fronts

    Post Research Proposal by Friday, 11:59pm

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 12

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment#9: PaleoClimate: Cycles, Cycles Everywhere

    As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates

    Student-Led Discussion: Solar System

    9 Mid Latitude Cylones

    Post Progress Reports

    Post Research Proposal REVISIONS by Thursday, 13:00

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 13

    Student-Led Discussion: Ecosystem Response to Climate Change

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment#10: Climate Change and Texas Bats!

    As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates

    10 Weather Forecasting Post Progress Reports

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 14

    Student-Led Discussion: Snowball Earth

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment#11: Snowball Earth

    As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates

    11 Thunderstorms and Tornadoes Post Progress Reports

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 15: Thunderstroms and Tornadoes Post Question and Responses

    Student-Led Discussion: Tornadoes and Storms

    Primary Literature Reading Assignment#12: Agriculture: Two Articles

    As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates

    Post Progress Reports

    Meteorology Today, Ch. 16

    Student-Led Discussion: Tornadoes and Storms

  • Primary Literature Reading Assignment#13 & 14: Tornadoes: Two Articles As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates

    Student-Led Discussion: Hurricanes

  • Primary Literature Reading Assignment#15 & 16: Hurricanes As per usual......... generate a question and pose a response to one of your classmates
  • 13

    Oxygen, ozone, UV radiation; evolution of limestone and life

    Hansen et al. (1989)

    Student Research Presentations

    Present day "Global Warming"
    Greenhouse gases, emissions, human impact on climate change

    Lindzen (1990)
    Kellogg (1991)

    Student Research Presentations

    Future climates
    impact of climate change on humans (e.g. Little Ice Age)

    Final Project PostingsTurn in hard copy and post a "soft copy."

    Roemmich and McGowan (1995)
    Peters (1988)



    Ahrens, C. Donald, 2000. Meteorology Today:An Introduction to Weather, Climate, and the Environment


    ALLEY, R. B. & AND TEN OTHERS (1993) Abrupt increase in Greenland snow accumulation at the end of the Younger Dryas event. Nature, 362, 527-529.

    ANDREWS, J. T.,ERLENKEUSER, H.,TEDESCO, K.,AKSU, A. E. & JULL, A. J. T. (1994) Late Quaternary (Stage 2 and 3) meltwater and Heinrich events, Northwest Labrador Sea. Quaternary Research, 41, 26-34.

    BECK, R. A.,BURBANK, D. W.,SERCOMBE, W. J.,OLSON, T. L. & KHAN, A. M. (1995) Organic carbon exhumation and global warming during the early Himalayan collision. Geology, 23, 387-390.

    BLANCHON, P. & SHAW, J. (1995) Reef drowning during the last deglaciation: evidence for catastrophic sea-level rise and ice-sheet collapse. Geology, 23, 4-8.

    BOND, G.,BROECKER, W.,JOHNSEN, S.,MCMANUS, J.,LABEYRIE, L.,JOUZEL, J. & BONANI, G. (1993) Correlations between climate and records from North Atlantic sediments and Greenland ice. Nature, 365, 143-147.

    BOYLE, E. A. (1992) Cadmium and &Mac182;13C paleochemical ocean distributions during the stage 2 glacial maximum. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 20, 245-287.

    CALVERT, S. E. (1987) Oceanogrpahic controls on the accumulation of organic matter in marine sediments. In: Marine Petroleum Source Rocks (Ed. byBrooks, J. and Fleet, A.J.). Geological Society of London Special Publication. 26, pp. 137-153. London.

    CANE, M. A. (1986) El Nino. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 14, 43-70.

    CIAIS, P.,TANS, P. P.,TROLIER, M.,WHITE, J. W. C. & FRANCEY, R. J. (1995) A large northern hemisphere terrestrial CO2 sink indicated by the 13C / 12C ratio of atmospheric CO2. Science, 269, 1098-1102.

    CURRY, W. B. (1988) Changes in the distribution of &Mac182;13C of deep water &Mac183;CO2 between the last glaciation and the Holocene. Paleoceanography, 3, 317-341.

    DANSGAARD, W. & AND TEN OTHERS (1993) Evidence of general instability of past climate from a 250-kyr ice-core record. nature, 364, 218-220.

    FAIRBANKS, R. G. (1989) A 17,000 year glacio-eustatic sea level record: influence of glacial melting rates on the Younger Dryas event and deep ocean circulation. Nature, 342, 637-642.
    ___ (1990) The age and origin of the "Younger Dryas climate event" in Greenland ice cores. Paleoceanography, 5, 937-948.

    FISCHER, A. G. (1986) Climatic rhythms recorded in strata. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 14, 351-376.

    HANSEN, J.,LACIS, A. & PRATHER, M. (1989) Greenhouse effect of chlorofluorocarbons and other trace gases. Journal of Geophysical Research, 94, 16417-16422.

    HAY, W. W. (1993) The role of polar deep water formation in global climate change. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 21, 227-254.

    IMBRIE, J.& IMBRIE, K. P. (1979) Ice Ages: solving the mystery. Enslow Publishers, Short Hills, NJ, 224pp.IMBRIE, J.&

    IMBRIE, K. P. (1979) Ice Ages: solving the mystery. Enslow Publishers, Short Hills, NJ, 224pp.

    KELLOGG, W. W. (1991) Response to skeptics of global warming. American Meteorologial Society, Bull., 74, 499-511.

    KERRICK, D. & CALDEIRA, K. (1993) Paleoatmospheric consequences of CO2 released during early Cenozoic regional metamorphism in the Tethyan orogen. Chemical Geology, 108, 201-230.

    KVENVOLDEN, K. A. (1988) Methane hydrate: a major reservoir of carbon in the shallow geosphere? Chemical Geology, 71, 41-51.
    ___ (1993) Gas hydrates: geological perspective and global change. Reviews of Geophysics, 31, 173-187.

    LINDZEN, R. S. (1990) Some coolness concerning global warming. American Meteorological Society, 71, 288-299.

    MOLNAR, P. & ENGLAND, P. (1990) Late Cenozoic uplift of mountain ranges and global climate change: chicken or egg? Nature, 346, 29-34.

    PETERS, R. L. (1988?) Effects of global warming on species and habitats. Endangered Species UPDATE, 5 (7), 1-8.

    PRINN, R. G. & FEGLEY JR., B. (1987) The atmospheres of Venus, Earth and Mars: a critical comparison. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 171-212,

    RAMPINO, M. R.,SELF, S. & STOTHERS, R. B. (1988)

    Volcanic winters. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 16, 73-99.

    RAYMO, M. (1994) The Himalayas, organic carbon burial, and climate in the Miocene. Paleoceanography, 9, 399-404

    RAYMO, M. E. (1994) The initiation of northern hemisphere glaciation. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 22, 353-383.

    ROEMMICH, D. & MCGOWAN, J. (1995) Climatic warming and the decline of zooplankton in the California current. Science, 267, 1324-1326.

    SHACKLETON, N. J. (1987) The carbon isotope record of the Cenozoic: history of organic carbon burial and of oxygen in the ocean and atmosphere. In: Marine Petroleum Source Rocks (Ed. byBrooks, J. and Fleet, A.J.). Geological Society of London Special Publication. 26, pp. 423-434. London.

    SIMKIN, T. (1993) Terrestrial volcanism in space and time. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 21, 427-452.

    WAHLEN, M. (1993) The global methane cycle. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 21, 407-426.

    WEBB III, T. & BARTLEIN, P. J. (1992) Global changes during the last 3 million years: climatic controls and biotic responses. Annual Reviews of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 23, 141-173.

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