SIOC 290: Climate Mathematics

Period: July 31 (M)-September 20 (W), 2017

Lectures: 9:00-10:50 am, M-Th; 9:00-9:50 am, F

Practice and Office Hours: 11:00am-12:00 pm,  M-F

Classroom: Nierenberg Hall 101

Instructor: Samuel Shen

Office: NH430    Tel: 858-246-0205   Email:

Text: Climate Mathematics with R, Lecture Notes by Samuel Shen and Richard Somerville, plus online materials

Course Overview: The course is designed for the students in the Masters of Advanced Studies program in Climate Sciences and Policy. These students will need to understand, explain and present the results from climate models and observations. They will use SIOC 290 to prepare themselves to take SIOC 210 (Physical Oceanography), SIOC 217A (Atmospheric Thermodynamics) and SIOG 260 (Marine Chemistry). They will learn probability, statistics, mathematics, and plotting skills to present and describe climate data from both observations and models, particularly about climate extremes and uncertainties.  Every mathematics formula and theory included in this book is presented with at least one climate application example.

The course covers the following materials dimensional analysis, calculus review, basic R programming, linear algebra, EOFs using SVD, climate data visualization, mass balance equation for chemical reactions, basic probability and statistics, linear approximation, Newton’s method for solving equations, energy balance model for climate, dot and cross products, internal energy, enthalpy, entropy, exact differentials, Planck’s law of radiation, spherical coordinates, total derivative, conservation laws, geostrophic approximation, geostrophic wind, Rossby waves, oceanic gyres, and coastal currents.

PhD students who need additional mathematics and statistics skills or who would like to learn modern tools and unconventional approaches to climate data analysis can also take this course.