Fall 2008

Atmospheric Chemistry

Listed in: Chemistry, as CHEM-38


Karena A. McKinney (Sections 02 and 03)


As global environmental issues such as stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming have arisen, the impact of mankind on the environment, particularly the atmosphere, has become a pressing concern for both the public and scientific communities. Addressing these large-scale and highly complex problems demands a greater scientific understanding of the earth system. In this course, students will investigate Earth’s atmosphere and the chemical and physical principles that shape it. Fundamental processes that determine atmospheric composition and climate, including multistep reaction mechanisms, chemical kinetics, molecular spectroscopy, photolysis, and heterogeneous chemistry, are introduced. Specific topics treated will include atmospheric composition, structure, and motion; element cycling; the transfer of solar and longwave radiation; stratospheric composition and chemistry; tropospheric oxidation processes; air pollution; and the role of human activity in global change. Laboratory, computational, and field experiments complement the lecture material. Three hours of lecture and four hours of laboratory per week. Requisite: Chemistry 12. Fall semester. Professor McKinney.