ES 403: Atmospheric Science (MAS)

Course Title

Atmospheric Science (MAS)

Course Code

ES 403

Course Type




Year / Semester


Instructor’s Name

 Panos Hadjinicolaou (Lead Instructor), Nikos Mihalopoulos, Mihalis Vrekoussis, George Biskos



Lectures / week

 1 (3h)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

 The course aims to provide a foundation for the physical and chemical aspects of the atmosphere in an intellectually rigorous but accessible format. Theoretical understanding and practical sense is pursued of the fundamentals of atmospheric physics and chemistry, covering wide spatial and temporal scales of manifestation of atmospheric phenomena pertinent to the environment. There will be an emphasis on the lower part of the atmosphere including a description of the atmospheric composition and structure and a presentation of the main processes in the atmosphere such as heat and moisture exchange, radiation, particles, air motion and related manifestations such as air temperature, cloud formation, precipitation. In addition, chemical principles applied to the study of atmospheres will be introduced, as well as atmospheric photochemistry and kinetics, radical reactions and chemical lifetime determinations. The course also includes an introduction to climate change as a direct application of relevant atmospheric processes.

Learning Outcomes

 By the end of the course students should be able to: list the main components of the atmosphere; understand their key manifestations such as the behaviour of air parcels with their surroundings involving heat, radiation, moisture, momentum and matter; deduce expected outcomes for a given atmospheric situation (e.g. stability of the atmosphere given a temperature profile); describe cloud formation and precipitation; use fundamental chemistry to explain important atmospheric process; foresee the impact and fate of chemical species on the atmosphere; explain the causes of climate change from an atmospheric perspective.



 Required  Nono

Course Content

01: Constitution, state and measuring of the atmosphere

02: Atmospheric thermodynamics I

03: Atmospheric thermodynamics II

04: Cloud and precipitation

05: Atmospheric motion

06: Atmospheric radiation

07: Convection and advection

08: Surface and boundary layer

09: Atmospheric Aerosol Particles

10: Introduction to atmospheric chemistry (challenges and perspectives)

11: Atmospheric photochemistry and lifetimes

12: Atmospheric chemical kinetics

13: Natural and anthropogenic climate change

14: Chemistry-climate interactions

Teaching Methodology



1) Wallace J.M. and Hobbs P.V., Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey, 2nd Edition, 2006, Elsevier, pp 483.
2) McIlveen R., Fundamentals of Weather and Climate, 2010, Oxford University Press, 632 pp.


 Tests and Final Exam



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