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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail
Earth's Variable Climate
Taught by: Joe Ortiz

Description
E-Seminar Description
What forces drive climate change? The objective of this e-seminar will be to provide class participants with an introduction to some of the factors (both natural and human induced) that drive climate change on a variety of timescales. In the first section of the e-seminar, Dr. Ortiz (pictured left) will discuss processes that drive climate change on timescales ranging from the seasonal cycle to variations in Earth's orbital geometry. In the second section, a study of the Monsoon system serves as an example of how some of these climatic-forcing functions interact. On seasonal timescales, Monsoon circulation systems in Africa, India and Asia are driven by the thermal contrast between land and sea. Likewise, during times in the geologic past when orbital parameters maximized seasonal contrast, enhanced Monsoon systems existed. This effect has been successfully simulated with global climate models (GCMs) and observed using geologic data such as lake level records. During the final section of the e-seminar, Dr. Ortiz will provide students with the context needed to help class participants begin an exploration of the issue of anthropogenic (human-induced) climate change as they read through a recent article by a world expert on the subject, Dr. James Hansen of NASA GISS.

Material presented in the e-seminar includes numerous links to climate-related Web materials and thought-provoking "challenge questions" related to climate materials presented during the workshop.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Credits:Not-for-Credit
Prerequisites:None
Moderator:None
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

Interested in this
e-seminar?
Go to the e-seminar now*.

Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.



Outline | Instructor's Background | Technical Requirements

Outline
1. The Climate Spectrum
2. Monsoon Variability
3. Greenhouse Forcing and Climate Change

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Dr. Joseph D. Ortiz is an Adjunct Associate Research Scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. His primary academic interest is earth system history with emphasis on paleoceanography and climate change. He uses a variety of research methods to approach problems in his field from a process-oriented perspective. These methods include marine micro-palenotology, carbon and oxygen stable isotope geochemistry, noninvasive sediment physical properties measurements, and statistics. He received a Ph.D. in oceanography in 1995 from the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University, and a B.S. with honors in aquatic biology from Brown University in 1988. He has participated in numerous oceanographic research cruises in the North Pacific, North Atlantic, and South Atlantic, and has presented invited scientific lectures at institutions throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His findings have been published in a number of scientific journals.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

IBM-COMPATIBLE PC
Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MACINTOSH
MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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