12.307: Weather and Climate Laboratory

Canvas site for assignment submissions: canvas.mit.edu/courses/18613.

12.307 is an Institute Laboratory focused on projects exploring the science that underlies weather, climate and climate change in the context of key global environmental challenges.

You will learn about the science of climate, apply fundamental principles of climate science to interpret (sometimes noisy or imperfect) data from lab experiments and observations, and practice communicating scientific results in written reports and oral presentations. (You can satisfy your CI-M requirement through 12.307.)

The course is organized around four projects with the following themes:

  1. Weather and Extremes – dynamics of weather systems including tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards.
  2. Tracer transport – transport of pollutants, including plastics in the ocean and particulates in the atmosphere.
  3. Heat and Moisture Transport – transport of energy and moisture by the large-scale atmospheric circulation and implications for global climate.
  4. Dig Deeper – self-driven project digging deeper into one of the projects 1-3

The first three projects include an experiment, conducted in the EAPS Fluids Lab, that illustrates relevant fluid dynamical principles, and an observational component that highlights connections between the lab experiment and the behavior of Earth’s climate system. For the fourth project, you will define a research question to guides further inquiry into some facet of the first three projects.

We meet Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm in 54-1623.

Instructors: Lodovica Illari (illari@mit.edu), John Marshall (jmarsh@mit.edu)
Communications Instructor: Jane Abbott (jcabbott@mit.edu)
Technical Instructor: Bill McKenna (wdmc@mit.edu)
TA: P.J. Tuckman (ptuckman@mit.edu)

Thank you to last year’s instructors: Tristan Abbott (thabbott@mit.edu), Glenn Flierl (glenn@lake.mit.edu) for teaching the class when we were on sabbatical!