Physics 140
The Greenhouse Effect

Spring 2015
Mondays, Wednesdays 2:50 - 4:10 p.m.
MU Room 210

Course Instructor:  Prof.  Premi Chandra                                                                                                                                                 
Office Hour:  M 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.  Scott 205


Overview:  In this class, we'll discuss the basics of the greenhouse effect for a non-technical audience.  A key goal of the course is that the students develop the energy literacy and quantitative dexterity necessary to evaluate for themselves arguments presented in public policy discussions of global warming and climate change.

Course Texbooks:  D. Archer,  Global Warming:  Understanding the Forecast (2nd Edition), (John Wiley and Sons, 2011),
                                D. Archer and S. Rahmstorf, The Climate Crisis:  An Introductory Guide to Climate Change,
                                                        (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
                                B. Richter,  Beyond Smoke and Mirrors:  Climate Change and Energy in the 21st Century
                                                        2nd Edition), 
(Cambridge University Press, 2014) 

Iclickers:                i>clicker+


Week of
Jan. 18


Jan. 25

Bad Weather Day!



Energy and Power

Temperature and Heat
Feb. 1

Energy and Power

Energy vs. Power

Energy and Power

Light and Blackbody Radiation

Feb. 8

Energy and Power

Reducing Our Carbon Footprint:  Fact or Fiction?

Energy and Power

Chasing Ice
Feb. 15

Energy and Power

A Simple Climate Model

Energy and Power

More on a Simple Climate Model

Feb. 22
Energy and Power

Greenhouse Gases:  Which Ones are They?

Energy and Power

More on Greenhouse Gases

March 1

Energy and Power

Review for First Hour Exam

First Hour Exam

March 8

Global Warming

Weather and Climate

                       Global Warming     

                        Radiative Forcing
March 15

Spring Break!

Spring Break!

March 22

Global Warming

Land and Sea Ice
in Antarctica

Global Warming

The 2 Degree C Goal

March 29

Global Warmin

Our  Carbon Budget

Global Warming

The Carbon Reserves

April 5

Global Warming

Review fo Second Hour Exam

Second Common Hour Exam


April 12

No Class Today!


The Climate Doubters

April 19

Decisions, Decisions

Kaya Equation

Decisions, Decisions

Stabilization Wedges

April 26

Decisions, Decisions

Can Technology Save Us from Climate Change?


Decisions, Decisions

What We as Individuals Can Do

May 3

Decisions, Decisions

Review for Final Exam

(Reading Period)

May 10


                         Final Exam

                   Wednesday May 13
                      12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
                          MU 210

Course Notes

There will be regular homework assignments.

Supplementary material to the main texts will be accessible on the course Sakai site.


Breakdown of Grades



I-Clicker ??s


                 First  Hour Exam


                Second Hour Exam


                    Final Exam 

The two lowest homework and I-clicker grades will be dropped.

Class participation is greatly encouraged and could
contribute positively towards the final grade.

Special Announcements

Final on W May 13 from 12 - 3 in MU 210.

Please bring a calculator and an equation sheet!