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ES 408: Meteorology and Climate (MAS)

Course Title

Meteorology and Climate (MAS)

Course Code

ES 408

Course Type




Year / Semester


Instructor’s Name

Silas Michaelides (Lead Instructor), Filippos Tymvios, Demetris Charalambous, Panos Hadjinicolaou, George Zittis



Lectures / week

 1 (3 hr)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

The course aims to provide the principles of dynamics and kinematics of the atmosphere underpinning key meteorological phenomena and introduce basic concepts of climate at different spatial scales. The course enables the students to apply the laws of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics and to acquire knowledge on the mechanisms of air motions in the Earth’s atmosphere and how they control climate. It also aims at identifying the forces acting in causing the atmospheric motions and determining the balance of these forces that interplay to give rise to atmospheric motion systems that are important for driving weather and climate processes

Learning Outcomes

Outline the application of the concepts of force, acceleration, and frames of reference to a physics of atmospheric dynamics as exemplified in the equations of motion. Illustrate the concept of a balanced flow, including by demonstrating the description of idealised atmospheric flows using these balanced flows. Summarise the process of scale analysis to explain simple expressions for these flows. Apply the main results of quasi-geostrophic theory to diagnose vertical motion and predict changes to surface and upper-air flow, judging when the assumptions behind these results are valid. Connect the resulting atmospheric circulation manifestation to distinct surface climate features around the globe, within a global physical climatology framework. Introduce concepts and real world aspects of microclimatology (including bioclimate and urban climate).



 Required  None

Course Content

 Meteorology and Climate
  • Forces (pressure gradient, gravitational, Coriolis, centrifugal, friction)
  • Equations of Motion (conservation of momentum); Scales of motion
  • Hydrostatic Equilibrium
  • Conservation of mass, energy
  • Balanced flows, Ageostrophic Motion
  • Vorticity and divergence, Potential vorticity
  • Quasi-geostrophic Flow
  • Waves in the Atmosphere
  • Baroclinic and Barotropic instability
  • Atmospheric Energetics – Energy Cascading
  • Atmospheric circulation control of various climate types
  • Global physical climatology
  • World climatology.
  • Microclimate, bioclimate; urban climate

Teaching Methodology

 In class teaching


  • James R. Holton and Gregory Hakim: An Introduction to Dynamic Meteorology (Fifth Edition).
  • John M. Wallace and Peter V. Hobbs: Atmospheric Science (Second Edition) -An Introductory
  • Howard Bluestein: Synoptic-Dynamic Meteorology in Mid-Latitudes Volume I – Principles of Kinematics and Dynamics.
  • John Dutton: Dynamics of Atmospheric
  • McIlveen R., Fundamentals of Weather and Climate, 2010, Oxford University Press, 632 pp.


 Written final exam and written/oral assignments



Publications & Media