METR 101 Introduction to the Weather • 5 Cr.
Introduces the study of the weather, including atmospheric properties and processes that control temperature, wind, precipitation, and storm systems. Students also discuss weather forecasting, air pollution, and climate change. Format may include field trips and guest lectures.
After completing this class, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate ability to recall and state scientific facts definitions, and descriptions related to Meteorology by:
- Using proper terms and understanding in written assignments
- Completing objective and/or subjective unit examinations successfully
- Demonstrate a knowledge of the role played by water in the Earth’s atmosphere by:
- Listing the physical properties of water that make it a special or unique substance on Earth
- Explaining the concepts and physical processes involved in latent heat, humidity, cloud droplet growth, and loud development
- Differentiating between the various forms of precipitation and the conditions under which they occur
- Visually identifying and classifying clouds into the four main families and ten main types
- Demonstrate an understanding of the structure of the Earth’s atmosphere by:
- Diagramming and describing the vertical layers of the atmosphere
- Defining and explaining the concepts of density pressure and temperature and describing how each varies vertically in the atmosphere
- Listing the major constituents gases of the atmosphere
- Summarize the concepts of energy and heat transfer in the atmosphere, and identify the primary components of the Earth-atmosphere heat balance.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the basic forces that control atmospheric motion by:
- Listing and explaining the four basic atmospheric forces.
- Listing and explaining the main force balances that initiate and modify atmospheric motion.
- Describing and diagramming local and global scale wind patterns on Earth
- Define air mass, and show how fronts are formed at eh boundaries between air masses
- Summarize the differences between the various types of storms that occur on Earth, including mid-latitude cyclones, tropical cyclones, thunderstorms, and tornadoes by:
- Describing the temporal and spatial distribution of the storms
- Explaining the formation and life cycle of each type of storm
- Listing the cloud types, precipitation types, and potential hazards associated with each
- Enumerate the meteorological conditions that can lead to a build-up of air pollution
- Identify and describe the principal instruments used to measure temperature, pressure, humidity, rainfall, and wind speed/direction
- Evaluate the effectiveness of various weather forecasting techniques, and explain the main limitations inherent in weather predictions
- Demonstrate an understanding of global climate change by:
- Identifying natural climate change mechanisms
- Identifying anthropogenic climate change mechanisms.
- Summarizing the current status, predictions, and uncertainties with regard to climate change
- Describing the steps being taken to mitigate anthropogenic climate change
- Demonstrate ability to effectively identify and use key reference materials to research a meteorological or climatological topic by:
- Locating reference material in library databases and/or other library reference sources.
- Obtaining valid data form multiple Internet domains