Climate Science

Course CodeBSC208
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Plant Health and Growth are affected by Climate
Understand the climate, know the plants; match appropriate plants with the climate you have; and your success in horticulture will greatly improve.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Climatology
    • Introduction to climatology & meterology
    • Understanding how climate and weather affects us
    • What makes up our weather?
    • How do we measure weather?
  2. Weather Science Foundations
    • Solar Radiation
    • Temperature
    • Precipitation
    • Deposition
    • Humidity
    • Clouds
  3. Circulation Patterns
    • Pressure Systems
    • Atmospheric Pressure
    • Pressure and Temperature
    • Latitudinal Circulation
    • Air masses
    • Wind
    • Trade Wind
    • The Beaufort Scale of Wind Speed
    • Frontal Systems
    • Oceanic circulation
    • Longitudinal Circulation
    • Southern Oscillation
    • Ocean Gyres
  4. Climate Classifications & Patterns
    • Types of Climates
    • Arid/Desert
    • Subtropical
    • Tropical
    • Temperate
    • Mediterranean
    • Coastal
    • Factors Which Influence Climate
    • Latitude
    • Wind Direction
    • Topography
    • Altitude
    • Aspect
    • Geographical Location
    • Climates Classification Models
    • Koppen Climate Classification
    • Thornwaite Climatic Classification System
    • Bergeron Climatic Classification System
    • Spatial Synoptic Classification (SSC)
    • Other Global Classification Systems
    • Holdridge Life Zone System
  5. Atmospheric Dynamics
    • Introduction to Atmosphere Composition
    • Purpose of the Atmosphere
    • Seasonal Variations
    • Vertical Structure of Atmosphere
    • Precipitation
    • Precipitation Processes and Other Events
    • Cloud Dynamics
    • Storms
    • Thunderstorms
    • Cyclones, Typhoons and Hurricanes
    • Tornadoes
    • METAR Codes for Precipitation Processes
    • Aerosols and Climate Processes
    • Indirect Effects of Aerosols
  6. Climate Changes
    • Factors that Cause or Influence Climate Change
    • Natural Causes
    • The Sun
    • Earth's Orbit
    • Earth's Axis
    • Oceanic Circulation
    • Oceanic Carbon Dioxide
    • Magnetic Field
    • Plate Tectonics
    • Volcanic Activities
    • Asteroids, Comets or Meteorite Impact
    • Manmade Causes or Anthropogenic Influences
    • Fossil Fuels
    • Agriculture
    • Deforestation
    • Nitrous Oxide
    • Other Pollution
    • Different Types of Climate Change Events
    • Glaciation and Ice Loss
    • Flora and Fauna
    • Ocean Warming and Sea Levels
    • Permafrost
    • Extreme Weather Events
    • Ozone Depletion
    • Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect
  7. Applications of Climate Science
    • Evolution of Methods and Techniques of Weather Forecasting
    • Early Methods & Simple Techniques
    • Modern Forecasting Approaches
    • Synoptic (Traditional) Forecasting
    • Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)
    • Statistical Methods
    • Long and Short Range Forecasting
    • Understanding Forecasting Models
    • Simple Models
    • Tropical Cyclone Forecast Model
    • General Circulation MOdel (GCM)
    • Regional Climate Modelling
    • Collection and Applications of Weather & Climate Data
    • Weather Mapping
    • Satellite
    • Radar
    • Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)
    • Verification Methods
    • Methods of Standard Verification
  8. Climatology Problem Based Learning Project
    • Management Processes
    • Planning
    • Organising
    • Leading
    • Controlling
    • Business Plans - Preparing a Plan
    • Decision Making
    • What to Plan for
    • Risk
    • Risk Analysis
    • Ways to Manage Risk

Learn About What Causes the Weather

Weather is never constant. It changes from day to day all over the world. The humidity, rainfall, temperature, light intensity and other factors are all affected by many different interacting factors, not just on the land, but also in oceans, lakes and rivers. 

This course provides you with an opportunity to understand all those factors that impact upon the day to day weather; which in turn affects where you live, work and play.

Longitudinal Circulation

Although latitudinal circulation is largely responsible for distributing heat around the earth, longitudinal circulation also plays an important. It occurs because water in the oceans has a higher heat capacity than land and so is able to absorb and release more heat, although the temperature changes are not as great as on land. 

This means that during the day the sea water absorbs more heat and has a lower temperature than land and so air cooled by the water passes towards land. At night, sea water releases more heat than land and the air flow heads from land to sea.  

The Pacific Ocean plays a significant role in the earth’s weather and is a completely ocean based cell. It is caused by temperature differences between the surfaces of the western and eastern Pacific waters.  Normally the eastern waters are cooler than the western ones.


Southern Oscillation (El Nino, La Nina Effect)

Throughout the year, Peru and Ecuador constantly receives the cold Peruvian currents that pass along its coast in a direction towards the north. As the end of each year approaches (around Christmas time), a warm counter-current called ‘El Nino’ flows southward along this coast and replaces the cold current. 

El Nino events last approximately 3 weeks each year. Every 3 to 7 years this event can be very significant in terms of drastic climatic changes across the Pacific Ocean, causing extreme climate oscillations and consequential weather events. When these events occur, there is a significant drop of pressure over the south-eastern coast of the Pacific Ocean and an equally intense increase in pressure over the south-western coast of the Pacific, creating pressure differences that sway back and forth until this event is over. Due to this oscillation type of movement, this event has come to receive its name as ‘Southern Oscillation’ or ‘El Nino Southern Oscillation’ (i.e. ENSO), producing sea levels to rise and lower on different ends of the Pacific Ocean coasts, which end up in floods (generally occurring in Peru and Ecuador) and droughts (generally seen in Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines).