We know quite a lot about the atmosphere. It has taken decades, if not centuries, of careful observation and insightful theory that is based on solid physical and chemical laws. We have more to learn. You could help to advance the understanding of the atmosphere, but you must first understand the physical concepts and mathematics that are already well known. That is a primary purpose of this course – to give you that understanding.
Clouds over the Arctic Ocean at sunrise. Credit: W. Brune
What follows, below, is a series of pictures and graphical images. Each one depicts some atmospheric process that will be covered in this course. Look at these images; you will see them again, each in one of the next ten lessons. Of course, in each observation there are many processes going on simultaneously. In the last lesson, you will have the opportunity to look at an observation and attach the physical principles and the mathematics that describe several processes that are causing the phenomena that you are observing.