Minor Atmospheric Science (18 credits)

Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences     Degree: Bachelor of Science

Program Requirements

The B.Sc.; Minor in Atmospheric Science is intended to provide the basics of the atmospheric and oceanic properties and circulation, in connection with weather phenomena and the climate system.

Complementary Courses (18 credits)

9-15 selected from:

  • ATOC 214 Introduction: Physics of the Atmosphere (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : An introduction to key physical processes operating in the atmosphere, designed for students in science and engineering. Topics typically include: composition of the atmosphere; vertical structure; heat transfer; solar and terrestrial radiation and Earth's energy balance; seasonal and daily temperature changes; humidity and the formation of clouds and precipitation; stability of tropospheric air layers; applications of adiabatic charts.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite: CEGEP Physics, or the combination of PHYS 131 and PHYS 142, or permission of instructor.

  • ATOC 215 Oceans, Weather and Climate (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : An introduction to key physical and dynamical processes in the oceans and atmosphere. Topics typically include air-sea-ice interactions, laws of motion, the geostrophic and thermal wind relations, general circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, weather, radiative balance, climate sensitivity and variability, role of the atmosphere and oceans in climate.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Fajber, Robert (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite: MATH 141

  • ATOC 219 Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry (3 credits) *

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : An introduction to the basic topics in atmospheric chemistry. The fundamentals of the chemical composition of the atmosphere and its chemical reactions. Selected topics such as smog chamber, acid rain, and ozone hole will be examined.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Preston, Thomas (Winter)

  • ATOC 309 Weather Radars and Satellites (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Basic notions of radiative transfer and applications of satellite and radar data to mesoscale and synoptic-scale systems are discussed. Emphasis will be put on the contribution of remote sensing to atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Tan, Ivy (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite: ATOC 215

  • ATOC 312 Rotating Fluid Dynamics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Fundamentals of fluid motion on a rotating sphere: Rotating coordinate systems, the Lagrangian time derivative, and equations of motion. The geostrophic approximation and thermal wind balance; departures from geostrophy, such as frictional Ekman layers, inertial oscillations, and the gradient wind balance. The shallow water equations, including potential vorticity conservation, quasigeostrophy, and simple wave solutions.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Kirshbaum, Daniel (Fall)

  • ATOC 315 Thermodynamics and Convection (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Buoyancy, stability, and vertical oscillations. Dry and moist adiabatic processes. Resulting dry and precipitating convective circulations from the small scale to the global scale. Mesoscale precipitation systems from the cell to convective complexes. Severe convection, downbursts, mesocyclones.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Tan, Ivy (Fall)

  • ATOC 357 Atmospheric and Oceanic Science Laboratory (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Students will gain hands-on experience in several fundamental atmospheric and oceanic science topics through practical experimentation. A diverse set of experiments will be conducted, ranging from in situ observations in Montreal, to remote sensing of clouds and radiation, to laboratory chemistry and water-tank experiments. As a background for these experiments, students will receive training on sensor principles and measurement error analysis, as well as the fundamental physical processes of interest in each experiment. They will learn to operate, and physically interpret data from, various sensors for in situ and remote observation of meteorological variables. Their training will also extend to operational weather observations, analysis, and forecasting.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Prerequisite(s): ATOC 214 or permission of instructor.

  • ATOC 404 Climate Physics (3 credits) **

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : This course covers the essentials of climate physics through the lens of one-dimensional, vertical atmospheric models. This includes shortwave and longwave radiative transfer, convection, phase changes, clouds, greenhouse gases, and atmospheric escape. This is an adequate level of detail for understanding Earth's climate, paleoclimate, anthropogenic climate change, or pursuing studies of Solar System planets and extrasolar planets.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • CHEM 219 Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry (3 credits) *

    Offered by: Chemistry (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Chemistry : An introduction to the basic topics in atmospheric chemistry. The fundamentals of the chemical composition of the atmosphere and its chemical reactions. Selected topics such as; a smog chamber, acid rain, and the ozone hole, will be examined.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Preston, Thomas (Winter)

  • PHYS 404 Climate Physics (3 credits) **

    Offered by: Physics (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Physics : This course covers the essentials of climate physics through the lens of one-dimensional, vertical atmospheric models. This includes shortwave and longwave radiative transfer, convection, phase changes, clouds, greenhouse gases, and atmospheric escape. This is an adequate level of detail for understanding Earth's climate, paleoclimate, anthropogenic climate change, or pursing studies of Solar System planets and extrasolar planets.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Huang, Yi (Fall)

* Note: Students may select ATOC 219 or CHEM 219 but not both.
**Note: Students may select ATOC 404 or PHYS 404 but not both.

3-9 credits selected from:

  • ATOC 512 Atmospheric and Oceanic Dynamics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Equations of motion used to study waves, turbulence, and the general circulation of the atmosphere and oceans. Standard approximations to these equations, including the Boussinesq, primitive, quasigeostrohic, and rotating shallow water equations. Emphasis is on effects for which rotation and/or buoyancy play essential roles. Simple classes of flow, e.g., geostrophic, thermal wind, Ekman, and inertial oscillations.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Straub, David N (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 513 Waves and Stability (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Description of the principal wave types and instability mechanisms of geophysical fluid dynamics. Geostrophic adjustment, wave dispersion, the WKBJ approximation. Wave types considered include (internal) inertia-gravity waves, planetary Rossby waves, and the equatorial and coastal wave guides. Instabilities considered include inertial, symmetric, barotropic, baroclinic, and Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Straub, David N (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 515 Turbulence in Atmosphere and Oceans (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Application of statistical and semi-empirical methods to the study of geophysical turbulence. Reynolds' equations, dimensional analysis, and similarity. The surface and planetary boundary layers. Oceanic mixed layer. Theories of isotropic two- and three- dimensional turbulence: energy and enstrophy inertial ranges. Beta turbulence.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, a previous course in fluid dynamics (such as ATOC 512), or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 517 Boundary Layer Meteorology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Turbulence and turbulent fluxes, atmospheric stability, Monin-Obukhov similarity theory, surface roughness and surface fluxes, power law and logarithmic wind profiles including their application in wind energy and engineering sectors, convective and stably stratified boundary layers, internal boundary layer development, large-eddy simulations, fundamentals of boundary-layer parameterization in numerical models, and introduction to urban boundary layers.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • ATOC 519 Advances in Chemistry of Atmosphere (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Exploration of the field of atmospheric chemistry that is identified as the significant driver of climate change and the cause of millions of premature death every year. Discussion of cutting-edge novel technologies for observing and quantifying pollutants (from ground to satellite) using artificial intelligence, the fate of emerging contaminants (e.g., nano/microplastics, trace metals, persistent organic), and modelling of atmospheric and interfacial processes. Examination of topics like atmospheric gaseous and multiphase components like bioaerosols. Study of photochemical, photophysical, and aerosol nucleation processes that affect air quality, climate change, and ecosystem health.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Ariya, Parisa A (Fall)

  • ATOC 521 Cloud Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : A detailed overview of the environmental factors and microphysical processes involved in the formation of clouds and precipitation. Topics typically include: cloud observations, atmospheric thermodynamics, environmental stability regimes, convection, the microphysics of the formation of cloud droplets and ice crystals, initiation of precipitation, aerosol–cloud interactions.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Zuend, Andreas (Winter)

  • ATOC 525 Atmospheric Radiation (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Solar and terrestrial radiation. Interactions of molecules, aerosols, clouds, and precipitation with radiation of various wavelengths. Radiative transfer through the clear and cloudy atmosphere. Radiation budgets. Satellite and ground-based measurements. Climate implications.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • ATOC 531 Dynamics of Current Climates (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : A detailed overview of the climate and the global energy balance. Topics typically include: energy balance at top of the atmosphere and at the surface, poleward energy flux, the role of clouds, climate and atmospheric/oceanic general circulations, natural variability of the climate system, evolution of climate and climate change.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Fajber, Robert (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 315 or permission of instructor

    • Corequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 312 or ATOC 512 or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 540 Synoptic Meteorology 1 (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Analysis of current meteorological data. Description of a geostrophic, hydrostatic atmosphere. Ageostrophic circulations and hydrostatic instabilities. Kinematic and thermodynamic methods of computing vertical motions. Tropical and extratropical condensation rates. Barotropic and equivalent barotropic atmospheres.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Gyakum, John Richard (Fall)

    • Fall

    • 2 hours lecture; 2 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): MATH 314, MATH 315, or permission of instructor

  • ATOC 548 Mesoscale Meteorology (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Administered by: Graduate Studies

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Theory of meteorologically important mesoscale phenomena including mesoscale instabilities, cumulus convection and its organization (including thunderstorms, squall lines, and other forms of severe weather), internal gravity waves, and topographically forced flows. Application of theory to the physical interpretation of observations and numerical simulations.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Romanic, Djordje (Winter)

  • ATOC 557 Research Methods: Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : The analysis of observational and modeling data, and the advantages and limitations of different data. Different analysis methods including regression, linear stochastic processes autocovariance and spectral analysis, principle component analysis, inverse problems and data assimilation, commonly used in the atmospheric and oceanic sciences.

    Terms: This course is not scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    Instructors: There are no professors associated with this course for the 2024-2025 academic year.

  • ATOC 558 Numerical Methods and Laboratory (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Numerical simulation of atmospheric and oceanic processes. Finite difference, finite element, and spectral modelling techniques. Term project including computer modelling of convection or large-scale flows in the atmosphere or ocean.

    Terms: Winter 2025

    Instructors: Kirshbaum, Daniel (Winter)

    • Winter

    • 1 hour lecture; 4 hours laboratory

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 312 or ATOC 512, or permission of instructor

    • Restriction: Graduate students and final-year Honours Atmospheric Science students. Others by special permission.

  • ATOC 568 Ocean Physics (3 credits)

    Offered by: Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences (Faculty of Science)

    Overview

    Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences : Major topics in physics and dynamics of the ocean including seawater properties, density and equation of state, sea ice, air-sea-ice exchanges, mixing and stability in the ocean, wind-driven and thermohaline circulations. Observational techniques and numerical models of the ocean, which include some data analysis and literature review.

    Terms: Fall 2024

    Instructors: Tremblay, Bruno (Fall)

    • Winter

    • 3 hours lecture

    • Prerequisite (Undergraduate): ATOC 512 or permission of instructor

Faculty of Science—2024-2025 (last updated Apr. 3, 2024) (disclaimer)
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