water vapor channel, standard IR, and visible images show several aspects of the general circulation.

ATM 240: Global Atmospheric Circulations

This web page was:
last reviewed on 27 September 2016
updated on 31 October 2016

Welcome to Global Atmospheric Circulations, a course on the general circulation of the atmosphere taught by Professor Richard Grotjahn at UC Davis. Please select topics from the menu below:

All federal and state copyrights reserved for all original material presented in this course and on the web pages associated with this course.

Please also check out the special issue of Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (DAO) on the Atmosphere's General Circulation .

Main Menu:

Note: This web page has multiple years mixed together. During the last offering (2014) some material from links (below) labeled 2008 and 2006 will be used. As the course proceeds, the relevant parts will be identified in class, if not on the web page.

Note: This year there is one fewer lecture period. There will be some adjustment of subjects shown below for a prior offering.

Course information for Winter 2000, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016:

I. Course Administration matters:

II. Web products for course lectures:

III. Book web pages:

  1. Course Textbook: Global Atmospheric Circulations, by R. Grotjahn, Oxford Univ. Press, 1993
      The book has an extensive errata that I strongly encourage people to consult. This document is more than an errata, it includes new material that significantly upgrades the presentation of several sections of the book. The errata & upgrade is offered as a single pdf file to allow greek letters and math symbols to be displayed. (updated 17 December 2004)

      Links to electronic forms of the color plates:
      color plate 1
      color plate 2
      Larger versions of cloud Plate 2:
      color plate 2a
      color plate 2b

      A web page devoted to the textbook: Global Atmospheric Circulations may also be of interest to those who visit this site.

  2. Selected Chapters in: Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, edited by James R. Holton, John Pyle, and Judith A. Curry. Academic Press, 2002. (Note: at present these are uncorrected proofs in .pdf format)
  3. Selected papers in: Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans, two special issues edited by R. Grotjahn. Elsevier, 2008. (Note: at present these are uncorrected proofs in .pdf format)

IV. General Information:

  1. Go to the welcome page for Richard Grotjahn.
  2. Go to the Atmospheric Science Program home page.
  3. You can send e-mail to me at my UCD account using:
    grotjahn 'at' ucdavis.edu .

V. Lecture Outlines - Study Guides for Winter 2000
Each guide page indicates the equired reading from the text Global Atmospheric Circulations.
Homework may be indicated below. Generally, it is due a week after being assigned.

Lecture Study Guides:

#1   Introduction and deductions   6 January 2000

#2   Land/Ocean and Radiation (part I)   11 January 2000

#3   Radiation (part II) and "Glass Slab" Radiative Balance   13 January 2000   HW #1 due.

#4   Meridional Heat Transport, [T], and Radiative Balance Model   18 January 2000

#5   Radiative Convective Model, [u], [v], and [w]   20 January 2000   HW #2 due.

#6   Hadley Updrafts, Angular momentum conservation #1, Pressure & [Z]   25 January 2000

#7   Clouds & Moisture; Momentum budgeting   27 January 2000

#8   Momentum maintenance; Momentum fluxes   1 February 2000

#9   Momentum viewed from the [KE] equation (part 1)   3 February 2000

#10   Momentum viewed from the [KE] equation (part 2); Summary   8 February 2000
(Note: please see the Summary of Momentum Cycle web page.

  Midterm Exam   10 February 2000

#11   Introduction to APE   15 February 2000

#12   Global and limited volume APE   17 February 2000

#13   Baroclinic conversion: closed domain and QG simplification   22 February 2000

#14   CA and CK conversions, energy box diagrams, summary   24 February 2000
(Note: please see the Summary of Energy Flow web page.

#15   Zonal variations in: radiation, T, V (including jets)   29 February 2000

#16   Zonal variations in: P, moisture, momentum & heat fluxes, storm tracks, Asian monsoon momentum   2 March 2000

#17   Kuo-Eliassen equation (mean meridional cells)   7 March 2000

#18   Eddy life cycles and their interaction with the mean flow (jet stream maxima)   9 March 2000

#19   Review: Energetics, Eddy-Mean flow interactions, Application to satellite imagery   14 March 2000

Final Exam   2008 exam as pdf -- To be posted


Test backgrounds # #end test backgrounds

Test jpeg images #img src="http://grotjahn.ucdavis.edu/course/atm240/ssir.jpg">
#img src="http://grotjahn.ucdavis.edu/course/atm240/ssvis.jpg">
#img src="http://grotjahn.ucdavis.edu/course/atm240/sswvapr.jpg">