Click here for the fall 2021 semester of EPS 7

EPS 7, Introduction to Climate Change, Fall 2020

EPS 7 will be entirely virtual this fall, but just as much fun. Join the lectures live or watch them at your leisure. Unlike previous years, there will be no grading of in-class participation. Exams will be taken through bCourses. If you live in a very different time zone, you can request to take a different version of the exam 12 hours after the regular time.


This course covers the physical processes that determine Earth's past, present, and future climate, with a particular focus on the essentially irreversible climate change (a.k.a., global warming) caused by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas. Topics will also include the estimation of future warming and impacts, the Earth resources that can be used to combat climate change, and the policies being used to shift towards the use of those resources.

M W F, 2:00-3:00
In the bCourses Media Gallery
Required text
Readings will be posted online
Homework 30%, on bCourses, due weekly
Midterm I 20%, on bCourses, 9/30 14:00 (2 PM) Pacific or 10/1 2:00 (2 *AM*) Pacific
Midterm II 20%, on bCourses, 11/6 14:00 (2 PM) Pacific or 11/7 2:00 (2 *AM*) Pacific
Final 30%, on bCourses, 12/17, 15:00 (3 PM) Pacific or 12/18 3:00 (3 *AM*) Pacific
Letter grades are 90-100% for an A, 80-90% for a B, 70-80% for a C, etc.
Exams are closed-book
Taking of regularly scheduled exams is mandatory
Only exception is documented medical incapacitation
Do not enroll if unable to attend the exams
All course materials are copyrighted
This includes lectures, slides, videos, homework, and exams
Course materials are for your own use; they may not be distributed
Distribution or posting of course material is a violation of law and University policy
Honor code
"As a member of the UCB community, I act with honesty, integrity, and respect for others."
The honor code is taken seriously in EPS 7
Academic misconduct or a violation of course policy will result in sanctions
Professor (romps@berkeley.edu)
David Romps
Readers (eps7help@gmail.com)
Nathaniel Tarshish
Chloe Lee
Reader office hours
Tuesdays, 10-11 Pacific, https://meet.google.com/vwd-sjrz-mht
Wednesdays, 1-2 Pacific, https://meet.google.com/wdz-ntsf-unf
Note: You must login to the Google Meet session using your @berkeley.edu account.
Professor office hours
Wednesdays, 3-4 Pacific, https://meet.google.com/xuv-zmbs-you
Note: You must login to the Google Meet session using your @berkeley.edu account.


08/26, Joule and Watt: A tale of two Jameses
08/28, Energy on the move: How it gets from A to B
08/31, Fun with units: Meters and thermometers
09/02, Wien's law: The color of light
09/04, Stefan-Boltzmann law: You are glowing, literally
09/09, Mercury: Warm and toasty
09/11, Mars: A little chilly
09/14, Earth's atmosphere: What is it?
09/16, Clausius-Clapeyron: Water, water, everywhere
09/18, Lapse rate: It is cold up here!
09/21, Radiative transfer: Gases glow, too
09/23, Greenhouse gases: The Earth's clothing
09/25, Discovery of global warming: A short history
09/28, Forcing and feedback: Your best life now
09/30, Midterm I
10/02, Earth's feedbacks: Calculating climate sensitivity
10/05, Cloud taxonomy: Name that cloud
10/07, Fossil fuels: Where did this stuff come from?
10/09, Drill baby drill: How much have we burned?
10/12, Evidence of warming: Is it getting hot in here?
10/14, Ocean acidification: Where does the carbon go?
10/16, Climate models: Supercomputers to the rescue
10/19, The IPCC: How to win a Nobel Prize
10/21, Other gases: Laughing gas and hairspray
10/23, Scary feedbacks: Stuff that could burn
10/26, Paleoclimate: The past as guide to the future
10/28, Ice and sea level: Where to invest in property
10/30, Superstorms: The revenge of Clausius-Clapeyron
11/02, Future Earth: Spacesuits required
11/04, Biomass power: Enough room for food and fuel?
11/06, Midterm II
11/09, Hydro power: What is left to harness?
11/13, Nuclear power: Too costly and dangerous?
11/16, Wind power: Mining the sky
11/18, Solar power: Ready to save the day?
11/20, Domestic policy: CPP, ITC, PTC, alphabet soup
11/23, International agreements: Rio, Kyoto, and Paris
11/30, Carbon tax: The simple policy solution
12/02, Who obstructs action: Follow the money
12/04, Climate rights movement: What will your role be?