Earth's Changing Climate
The earth's climatic history including natural causes of past climate change and human influences on climate will be explored.
Three lectures; one term
Prerequisite: One of EARTH SC 2C03, 2E03, ENVIR SC 2C03, 2E03, ISCI 2A18, LIFE SCI 2H03; and registration in Level III or above
Crosslist: ENVIR SC 3CC3, EARTH SC 3CC3
Time/Term Offered: Term One Fall 2012-13
Instructor: Dr. Sang-Tae Kim
Room: General Science Building Rm. 229
Tel:(905) 525.9149 x26494
Office hours: by appointment
Teaching Assistant: TBA
Mr. Kurt Kornelsen
Office hours: by appointment
Global warming and abrupt climate change are some of today’s pressing global issues. This course will discuss the natural causes of past climate changes and the human impact on modern as well as future climate change. In particular, this course will focus on Earth’s climate history over the past several hundred million years, such as tectonic-scale climate change, orbital-scale climate change, and deglacial climate change. The interaction among the major components of the climate system, such as air, water, ice, land, and vegetation will also be covered.
Course Objectives: By the end of this course students should be able to:
• Understand the natural and human causes of climate change.
• Discuss the interaction among the various components of the climate system.
• Gain a basic understanding of the functioning and response of the major components of climate systems.
• Be familiar with how scientists study Earth’s climate history.
Three 1-hour lectures per week will be given on Tuesday (2:30pm -3:20pm), Thursday (2:30pm - 3:20pm), and Friday (2:30pm -3:20pm) in JHE 376. All students are expected to attend all lectures. Only partial lecture notes will be available on Avenue-to-Learn. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that class notes are obtained for any classes they have missed.
Required Text Books/Course materials:
Earth’s Climate: Past and Future. 2nd ed. by William F. Ruddiman, W.H. FREEMAN AND COMPANY
• Assignment 15%
• Two On-line Quizzes (each 7.5%) 15%
• Midterm Exam (cumulative, Oct. 16) 25%
• Final Exam (cumulative, during exam period) 45%
(Late penalty for the assignment: 20% of final mark (/100%) per day)
The Assignment will be due no later than 4:20 pm on the specified due date and it should be submitted in the EARTH SC 3CC3 drop box on the 2nd floor of General Sciences Building (GSB). A cover page should be provided for the assignment and it should include: your full name, student ID number, course name and number (i.e. EARTH SC 3CC3), and the due date. Assignments submitted without ALL of this requested information will not be graded and the Instructor or T.A. will make NO attempt at identifying who is the author of an assignment. Details of the assignment will be posted on Avenue-to-Learn.
The second floor of GSB locks shortly after 4:30 pm, but you can still submit assignments to the after-hours drop box located at the western end of GSB. These assignments will be collected the following day and date stamped with that date, not the date you physically submitted the assignment.
The On-line Quizzes and the Midterm Exam will consist of multiple-choice questions. The Midterm Exam will be held during one of our regular lectures, but will be given in various locations across the campus. It is your responsibility to verify your midterm date & location and to come to the test on time. The Final Exam will consist of a selection of multi-part short and long-answer questions.
If you fail to submit one of these evaluation components for a legitimate reason: 1) you must get proper documentation and submit it to the Associate Dean’s office of your faculty OR you can submit the McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF), once per term, to request academic accommodation due to minor medical situations that last up to 5 days (visit https://www.mcmaster.ca/msaf/ for details). Do not bring your documentation (e.g. doctor’s note) to your instructor or T.A. 2) you then must contact the Instructor in order to find out what, if any, accommodations will be made for the missed evaluation components.
Typically, your grade for the missed evaluation will be applied to the Final Exam (i.e. if you miss the Midterm Exam, the 25% will be applied to the final exam, making it worth 70% of your final mark). If you do not complete these two steps within 7 calendar days of the missed component, you will receive a grade of zero for it.
Please note that the MSAF will not be accepted for the missed On-line Quizzes because the On-line Quizzes will be available for 8 calendar days.
Academic dishonesty consists of misrepresentation by deception
or by other fraudulent means and can result in serious consequences,
e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation
on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for
academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the
The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s
own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes
academic dishonesty. For information on the various kinds of academic
dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at http://www.mcmaster.ca/policy/Students-AcademicStudies/AcademicIntegrity.pdf
The instructor and university reserve the right to modify elements of the course during the term. The university may change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances. If either type of modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. It is the responsibility of the student to check their McMaster email and course websites weekly during the term and to note any changes.