Math 396 CL
Introduction to Mathematical Climate Science

Global climate change is one of the most serious problems facing humanity.  Climate science is a rapidly expanding, interdisciplinary field, with increasing participlation by mathematicians (see for example, Mathematics of Planet Earth, 2013).  This course will introduce students to applications of vector calculus and differential equations to the study of global climate. The emphasis will be on modeling. Topics include: Energy Balance Models, Oceans and Climate, Introduction to Dynamical Systems, Fourier transforms, Hydrodynamics, Elementary Thermodynamics, Extreme Weather Events, and other topics as time permits.

Class Meetings              Tuesday & Thursdays, 3:30 to 4:45 p.m., Chaparral Hall 5117

Math 250 and Math 280 (or Math 351), or Permission of the Instructors

Grading There will be two midterm exams, each worth 20%, and a final exam worth 30% of the grade.  Homework  will constitute 30% of the grade.  Plus (+) and minus (–) grades will be assigned for this course.  The date of the midterms will be announced in class. 

Final Exam: To be announced

Textbook Mathematics & Climate, Hans Kaper, Hans Engler, SIAM 2013
Coverage: Chapters 1-5, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 19 as time permits


Instructor Information
David Klein
Santa Susana Hall,  Room 127  
Phone: (818) 677-7792
email:, web page:
Office Hours: TTH 10 to 11 a.m. & by Appointment

Cristina Cadavid
Eucalyptus Hall, Room 2105
Phone: (818) 677- 2171
Office Hours: to be announced

Additional References

Global Physical Climatology, by Dennis Hartman

Elementary Climate Physics
, by F.W. Taylor
Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics, by M.L. Salby

Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey, by Wallace and Hobbs

An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics, by D. G. Andrews

Capitalism & Climate Change: The Science and Politics of Global Warming, by David Klein, illustrated by Stephanie McMillan

Online Resources

Climate Overview: Powerpoint from first class meeting

CSUN Climate Science Program:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Real Climate

The Discovery of Global Warming, by Spencer Weart, director of the Center for History of Physics at the American Institute of Physics.

Dynamics sites

Laboratory Demonstrations of Planetary-Style Fluid Dynamics, from Spin-Lab at UCLA

Perpetual Ocean: NASA simulation of worldwide ocean currents

Exams and Homework Assignments

(to be posted here)