AGF-213 Polar Meteorology and Climate (15 ECTS)

Students checking wind speed in Adventdalen

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ID:
AGF-213
CREDITS:
15 ECTS
START DATE:
8 August 2017
END DATE:
1 December 2017
COURSE PERIOD:
Autumn semester (August–November/December), annually.
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION AND EXAMINATION:
English
CREDIT REDUCTION/OVERLAP:
None
GRADE:
Letter grade (A through F)
COURSE MATERIAL:
Book chapters, articles, compendia; ca. 350 pages
COURSE COSTS:
Fieldwork, NOK 800 (4 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 April 2017

INSTRUCTORS:

Marius Jonassen. Photo: UNIS
Marius Jonassen
Associate professor in meteorology

Course requirements:

60 ECTS in mathematics and physics or a related discipline. Students should have basic knowledge in meteorology equivalent to “Essentials of Meteorology, An Invitation to the Atmosphere” by C. Donald Ahrens.

Academic content:

The course covers a variety of themes important for the weather and climate in polar areas: small and local scale meteorology; boundary layer meteorology; turbulence; local wind phenomena such as katabatic and mountain winds; dynamic meteorology; radiation and remote sensing; atmospheric chemistry; numerical modelling and weather forecasting; climate processes and climate change. Emphasis will be on the differences between the polar atmosphere and the atmosphere at mid-latitudes and on understanding the physical processes involved.

The field component of the course provides an introduction to a number of meteorological observational techniques. Special attention will be paid to exchange processes between the atmosphere and diverse surfaces, local meteorological processes typical of polar regions and the challenges of weather forecasting in the Arctic.

Recommended combinations with this course are AGF-214 Polar Ocean Climate or AGF-210 The Middle Polar Atmosphere.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Have knowledge of the physical and dynamical processes in the polar atmosphere
  • Be able to describe challenges in observing and modelling these processes
  • Be familiar with terminology, theories and observational techniques used in polar meteorology

Skills
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Have skills in handling scientific meteorological instruments through hands-on fieldwork
  • Be able to analyse data from the fieldwork and communicate the corresponding results by written scientific reports and oral presentations

General competences
Upon completing the course, the students will:

  • Be able to evaluate and analyse processes in the polar atmosphere and explain how these differ from those of the mid-latitude

Learning activities:

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

The course is centred on the following learning activities:

  1. Classroom lectures providing the students with a solid background in themes and phenomena typical for the weather and climate in polar areas.
  2. Seminars and exercise classes where students work on exercises relevant for the topics covered in the classroom lectures.
  3. Fieldwork addressing a selection of the phenomena covered in the lectures with a main focus on boundary layer meteorology. The students take an active part in the fieldwork and get hands-on experience with various instrumentation and observational techniques typically used in polar boundary layer research.
  4. The fieldwork is followed up by data analysis and report writing by the students. During the report writing, the students receive feedback and guidance from the course responsible(s) and towards the end of the course the students present their final report results. There will also be presentations by the students of scientific articles.

Total lecture hours: 65 hours.
Total seminar hours: 20 hours.
Fieldwork: 4 days.

Compulsory learning activities:

Fieldwork, presentation of one scientific article.
All compulsory learning activities must be approved in order to sit the exam.

Assessment:

Method Duration
Percentage of final grade
Written fieldwork report 20%
Written exam 5 hours 80%

All assessments must be passed in order to pass the course.
Each assessment is graded, and subsequently combined into a single grade. Partial grades for each assessment will be available.

Application deadline: 15 April 2017

Students logging data in Adventdalen

AGF-213 students logging data in Adventdalen. Photo: Tor de Lange/UNIS.

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

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