Provides a detailed overview of the chemical transformations that control the abundances of key trace species in the Earth’s atmosphere. Emphasizes the effects of human activity on air quality and climate. Topics include photochemistry, kinetics, and thermodynamics important to the chemistry of the atmosphere; stratospheric ozone depletion; oxidation chemistry of the troposphere; photochemical smog; aerosol chemistry; sources and sinks of greenhouse gases.
Instructor: Jesse Kroll
1.841/12.817: Atmospheric Composition and Global Change
Prereq: 1.84J/12.807 or equivalent
H (Spring, even years)
The objective of this class is to explore how atmospheric chemical composition both drives and responds to climate, with a particular focus on feedbacks via the biosphere. Discussion topics include: atmospheric nitrogen; DMS, sulfate and CLAW; biogenic volatile organic compounds and secondary organic aerosol; wildfires and land use change; atmospheric methane and the oxidative capacity of the troposphere; air quality and climate and geoengineering.
Instructor: Colette Heald
12.806J Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry (Same subject as 10.571J)
Prereq: 5.61, 18.075, or permission of instructor
Introduction to the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere including experience with computer codes. Aerosols and theories of their formation, evolution, and removal. Gas and aerosol transport from urban to continental scales. Coupled models of radiation, transport, and chemistry. Solution of inverse problems to deduce emissions and removal rates. Emissions control technology and costs. Applications to air pollution and climate.
Instructor: Ron Prinn
12.848J Global Climate Change: Economics, Science, and Policy (Same subject as 15.023J, ESD.128J)
Prereq: Calculus II (GIR); 5.60; 14.01 or 15.010; or permission of instructor
Introduces scientific, economic, and ecological issues underlying the threat of global climate change, and the institutions engaged in negotiating an international response. Develops an integrated approach to analysis of climate change processes, and assessment of proposed policy measures, drawing on research and model development within the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. Graduate students are expected to explore the topic in greater depth through reading and individual research.
Instructor: R. G. Prinn, M. D. Webster
12.835 Experimental Atmospheric Chemistry
Prereq: Chemistry (GIR)
Introduces the atmospheric chemistry involved in climate change, air pollution, and ozone depletion using a combination of interactive laboratory and field studies and simple computer models. Uses instruments for trace gas and aerosol measurements and methods for inferring fundamental information from these measurements. Provides instruction and practice in written and oral communication. Students taking the graduate version complete different assignments.
Instructor: Ron Prinn, Shuhei Ono and Dan Cziczo
12.885: Environmental Science and Society
Prereq: 12.806, 12.807, or permission of instructor
H (Fall, new in 2012)
Stresses integration of central scientific concepts in environmental science and their connections to societal actions. Places emphasis on identifying and intercomparing the scientific foundation of environmental problems and proposals for their solution. Through lectures, independent study, group discussions, and periodic research reports, students produce an in-depth overview and critique of case studies in environmental problems and human actions. Illuminates commonalities and differences between past and present successes and impediments in dealing with environmental decisions. Potential topics include ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, and smog. Students taking the graduate version complete different assignments.
Instructor: Susan Solomon
16.715: Aerospace, Energy, and the Environment
Prereq: Chemistry (GIR); 1.060, 2.006, 10.301, 16.004, or permission of instructor
H (Spring, new in 2013)
Addresses energy and environmental challenges facing aerospace in the 21st century. Topics include: aircraft performance and energy requirements, propulsion technologies, jet fuels and alternative fuels, lifecycle assessment of fuels, combustion, emissions, climate change due to aviation, aircraft contrails, air pollution impacts of aviation, impacts of supersonic aircraft, and aviation noise. Includes an in-depth introduction to the relevant atmospheric and combustion physics and chemistry with no prior knowledge assumed. Discussion and analysis of near-term technological, fuel-based, regulatory and operational mitigation options for aviation, and longer-term technical possibilities.
Instructor: Steven Barrett
ESD.110J Global Environmental Science and Politics (Same subject as 12.846J)
G (Fall, odd years)
Practical introduction to the international environmental political arena, particularly designed for science and engineering students whose work is potentially relevant to global environmental issues. Covers basic issues in international politics, such as negotiations, North-South conflict, implementation and compliance, and trade. Emphasizes the roles and responsibilities of experts providing scientific assessment reports and in technical advisory bodies. Term projects focus on organizing and presenting scientific information in ways relevant for ongoing global policymaking.
Instructor: Noelle Selin
ESD.120J Sustainability Science and Engineering (Same subject as 12.845J)
Prereq: permission of instructor
G (Fall, even years) H-Level Grad Credit
Introduces and develops core ideas and concepts in the field of sustainability science and engineering from an engineering systems perspective. Takes an interdisciplinary approach to discuss case studies of sustainability systems research. Exposes students to techniques for sustainability research across engineering, natural and social science disciplines. Term projects focus on applying techniques.
Instructor: Noelle Selin
ESD.864J Modeling and Assessment for Policy (Same subject as 12.844J)
Prereq: ESD.10 or permission of instructor
G (Spring) H-Level Grad Credit
Explores how scientific information and quantitative models can be used to inform policy decision-making. Develops an understanding of quantitative modeling techniques and their role in the policy process through case studies and interactive activities. Addresses issues such as analysis of scientific assessment processes, uses of integrated assessment models, public perception of quantitative information, methods for dealing with uncertainties, and design choices in building policy-relevant models. Examples focus on models and information used in Earth system governance.
Instructor: Noelle Selin