AGF-210 The Middle Polar Atmosphere (15 ECTS)

Apply here

ID:
AGF-210
CREDITS:
15 ECTS
START DATE:
8 August 2017
END DATE:
6 December 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Autumn semester (August–December), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Book chapters, hand-outs; Ca. 400 pages
COURSE COSTS:
Fieldwork, ca. NOK 1000 (5 days x NOK 200 per overnight stay)
COURSE CAPACITY MIN/MAX:
8/16 students
EXAMINATION SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Bilingual dictionary between English and mother tongue, non-programmable calculator
APPLICATION DEADLINE:
15 February 2017

INSTRUCTORS:

Noora Partamies
Noora Partamies
Associate Professor, Middle atmospheric physics

Course requirements:

60 ECTS within the fields of mathematics and physics or a related discipline.

Academic content:

This course will lead to basic understanding of key processes controlling the stratosphere and mesosphere in the polar regions. These include radiation, chemistry, dynamics and circulation, particle precipitation, aerosol physics and wave activity in the middle atmosphere. The formation and effect of planetary and gravity waves will be described. The importance of waves in connecting the middle atmosphere and the troposphere will be discussed. Special attention will be paid to how radar, lidar, optical and rocket instrumentation can be used to investigate the middle layers of the atmosphere.

The students will get an introduction to the physics of dust/aerosol particles and their role in formation of the noctilucent clouds, polar stratospheric clouds and mesospheric radar echoes. The fieldwork at the Kjell Henriksen Observatory (KHO) will be connected to airglow observations. Radar and lidar measurement techniques will be introduced during visits to Andøya Space Center (ASC) and radar sites nearby Longyearbyen.

A recommended combination with this course is AGF-213.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Be able to explain why all parts of the Earth’s atmosphere must be considered in climate studies and long-term weather forecasts.
  • Be able to describe how solar particle influx and UV radiation produce reactive molecules in the mesosphere and influence the chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere.
  • Be able to explain the role of meteoric smoke particles in the mesospheric chemistry and dynamics.
  • Have obtained a solid overview on how different remote sensing and in-situ measurement techniques can be used to study the middle atmosphere.

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Have experience in examining the effects of radiation, chemistry, solar particle influx, aerosols and waves on the middle atmosphere using theoretical calculations and available measurements.
  • Have the ability to analyse atmospheric data, using specialised software and by writing scripts in Matlab or other similar programming languages.

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Be able to describe the key processes in the middle atmosphere, the driving forces of processes and their connections to the upper and lower atmosphere.

Learning activities:

The course extends over a full semester. Initially, students attend two days of compulsory Arctic survival and safety training.

Through interactive lectures with experts in different topics the students will achieve basic knowledge about key physical processes and theoretical tools necessary to understand the observations during the fieldwork. Exercises will include visualising and interpreting measurements and solving theoretical problems to understand the physics behind the observed phenomena. During the field trips the students will be introduced to a full range of scientific instrumentation and measurements techniques commonly used within the field.

Total lecture hours: Ca. 70 hours.
Total seminar hours: Ca. 40 hours.
Fieldwork / excursion: 4–6 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Fieldwork and written report.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Written exam  5 hours 100%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.

Application deadline: 15 February 2017

 

CONTACT INFO

The University Centre in Svalbard
Telephone: +47 79 02 33 00
Fax: +47 79 02 33 01
E-mail: post@unis.no / webmaster@unis.no
Address: P.O. Box 156 N-9171 Longyearbyen
Org. no. 985 204 454

Sitemap

UNIS logo

Slogan

Research-based education of the next generation of Arctic experts

TOP