Introductory Earth System Science

Frédéric Deschamps (frederic (at)
Shih-Yu Lee (shihyu (at)
Wei-Liang Lee (leelupin (at)

Wednesday, 09am-12pm

This course will provide you with the scientific background about the Earth system science and address many global change issues, including the origin and structure of the Earth, the theory of plate tectonics, the basic dynamics of the atmosphere and ocean circulations, the biosphere and its interaction with the climate system, and global change and its causes. You will be asked to examine your own thoughts and opinions on the topic and to share those thoughts with the class.

Mid-term Exam 50%
Final Exam 25%
Presentation 25%

Student Presentation
Each student should give a 15-minute oral presentation related to Earth system sciences. The topic could be your current research or of personal interests. Grading is based on broadness or sophistication of the material, presentation skill, and time control.

Kump, L.R., Kasting, J.F., and Crane, R.G. (2010), The Earth System, 4th ed.

Office Hour
By appointment

Schedule (Some slides might be updated occasionally.)
Week Date Instructor Topic
1 9/12 WLL Introduction (slides)
2 9/19 WLL Global energy balance: the greenhouse effect (slides)
3 9/26 WLL Atmospheric circulation (slides)
4 10/3 SYL Oceanic circulation (slides)
5 10/10 (Holiday)
6 10/17 SYL Recycling of elements: carbon and nutrient cycles (slides)
7 10/24 SYL Long-term climate regulation (slides)
8 10/31 SYL Climate of Ice Age and common era (slides)
9 11/7 WLL Cryosphere and recent climate change (slides)
10 11/14 WLL Future climate change: impact, adaptation, and mitigation (slides)
11 11/21 Mid-term exam
12 11/28 FD Gravity, shape, and rotation
13 12/5 FD Solid Earth: 3D structure
14 12/12 FD Solid Earth: composition
15 12/19 FD Mantle and lithosphere dynamics
16 12/26 FD Beyond the Earth
17 1/2 Student presentation
18 1/9 Final exam