EPS 7, Introduction to Climate Change, Fall 2022

EPS 7 is virtual in Fall 2022. The lectures and exams will be on bCourses. The lectures will be asynchronous: they will post at the regular class time, but you can watch them at your leisure. On the other hand, the exams on bCourses will be synchronous: you must log in online at the specified time. Even though EPS 7 will be virtual, it will be just as much fun as the in-person version!


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, September 28, 2pm)
Midterm II 20% (on bCourses, November 2, 2pm)
Final 30% (on bCourses, December 15, 3pm)
Letter grades are 90-100% for an A, 80-90% for a B, 70-80% for a C, etc., with each decile split into equal thirds to determine + and -.
Late homework is not accepted
To avoid zeros, aim to submit every assignment well before its deadline
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
To avoid sanctions, do not put course material on websites or cloud services
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)
Harsha Hampapura
Yongdai Gu
Reader office hours
Monday, 2-3, 404 McCone
Tuesday, 3-4, Zoom 781 530 1729 (log into Zoom with your @berkeley.edu account using the SSO login)
Professor office hours
Wednesday, 1-2, 377 McCone Hall


08/24, Joule and Watt: A tale of two Jameses
08/26, Energy on the move: How it gets from A to B
08/29, Fun with units: Meters and thermometers
08/31, Wien's law: The color of light
09/02, Stefan-Boltzmann law: You are glowing, literally
09/05, No class
09/07, Mercury: Warm and toasty
09/09, Mars: A little chilly
09/12, Earth's atmosphere: What is it?
09/14, Clausius-Clapeyron: Water, water, everywhere
09/16, Lapse rate: It is cold up here!
09/19, Radiative transfer: Gases glow, too
09/21, Greenhouse gases: The Earth's clothing
09/23, Discovery of global warming: A short history
09/26, Forcing and feedback: Your best life now
09/28, Midterm I
09/30, Earth's feedbacks: Calculating climate sensitivity
10/03, Cloud taxonomy: Name that cloud
10/05, Fossil fuels: Where did this stuff come from?
10/07, Drill baby drill: How much have we burned?
10/10, Evidence of warming: Is it getting hot in here?
10/12, Ocean acidification: Where does the carbon go?
10/14, Climate models: Supercomputers to the rescue
10/17, The IPCC: How to win a Nobel Prize
10/19, Other gases: Laughing gas and hairspray
10/21, Scary feedbacks: Stuff that could burn
10/24, Paleoclimate: The past as guide to the future
10/26, Ice and sea level: Where to invest in property
10/28, Superstorms: The revenge of Clausius-Clapeyron
10/31, Future Earth: Spacesuits required
11/02, Midterm II
11/04, Biomass power: Enough room for food and fuel?
11/07, Hydro power: What is left to harness?
11/09, Nuclear power: Too costly and dangerous?
11/11, No class
11/14, Wind power: Mining the sky
11/16, Solar power: Ready to save the day?
11/18, Domestic policy: ITC, PTC, alphabet soup
11/21, International agreements: Rio, Kyoto, and Paris
11/23, No class
11/25, No class
11/28, Carbon tax: The simple policy solution
11/30, Who obstructs action: Follow the money
12/02, Climate rights movement: What will your role be?