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Meteorology and Climatology

Code: 102849 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2501915 Environmental Sciences OB 3 2


Josep Enric Llebot Rabagliati

Teaching groups languages

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Luis Font Guiteras
Francesc Xavier Alvarez Calafell


Students will need to have achieved the objectives of 1styear Physics. During the course meteorological and climatic issues will be developed using physical phenomena explained in this course assets.

Objectives and Contextualisation


The course pretends to be a quantitative and qualitative introduction to weather and climatology, in a

simple way but, at the same time, rigorous. At the end of the course students should be able to

understand different meteorological and climatic phenomena and scenarios, the feasibility of the

weather and climatic forecasts and their consequences.

The goal of this course is to give to environmental professionals basic ideas of how the atmosphere

works and how affects human activities. Meteorological risks and impacts should be considered in

environmental impact studies of projects, programs and activities, and the environmental experts

should be aware of its causes and consequences. Also due to the fact each time the urban population

is growing up and up issues related with air quality analysis and assessment in urban environments

are of capital relevance for environmental studies and in consequence, are studied in the course.

In another context it is needed that the experts in environmental issues get ready to understand and

manage actions to deal with extreme meteorological and climatic events, to develop and adopt

measures of prevention and / or adaptation.



  • Adequately convey information verbally, written and graphic, including the use of new communication and information technologies.
  • Analyze and use information critically.
  • Collect, analyze and represent data and observations, both qualitative and quantitative, using secure adequate classroom, field and laboratory techniques
  • Demonstrate adequate knowledge and use the most relevant environmental tools and concepts of biology, geology, chemistry, physics and chemical engineering.
  • Demonstrate concern for quality and praxis.
  • Demonstrate initiative and adapt to new situations and problems.
  • Learn and apply in practice the knowledge acquired and to solve problems.
  • Quickly apply the knowledge and skills in the various fields involved in environmental issues, providing innovative proposals.
  • Teaming developing personal values regarding social skills and teamwork.
  • Work autonomously

Learning Outcomes

  1. Adequately convey information verbally, written and graphic, including the use of new communication and information technologies.
  2. Analyze and use information critically.
  3. Define the fundamentals of synoptic climatology.
  4. Demonstrate concern for quality and praxis.
  5. Demonstrate initiative and adapt to new situations and problems.
  6. Describe the main features of atmospheric thermodynamics.
  7. Explain the internal and external causes of climate change.
  8. Identify the physical processes in the surrounding environment and evaluate them properly and originally.
  9. Learn and apply in practice the knowledge acquired and to solve problems.
  10. Observe, recognize, analyze, measure, and so properly and safely represent physical processes applied to environmental sciences.
  11. Teaming developing personal values regarding social skills and teamwork.
  12. Work autonomously


1. A brief vision of the atmosphere

  1. Composition and origin
  2. Temperature distribution
  3. The climate system:observational network. Energy balances
  4. Changes of climate: Milankovitch variation. Solar activity.
  5. Greenhouse warming. Thermohaline circulation

2. Atmospheric thermodynamics

  1. Dry and moist air
  2. Hydrostatic equilibrium. Vertical profiles
  3. Adiabatic and pseudoadiabatic processes
  4. Vertical stability. Atmospheric soundings

3. Radiation

  1. Planck, Stefan Boltzmann and Wien laws
  2. Absorption, emission and diffusion of radiation
  3. General radiative balances. Radiative models

4. Atmpspheric dynamics

  1. Forces in the dynamic description of the atmosphere
  2. Geostrophic model. Gradient and thermal winds
  3. Baroclinic waves. Vorticity
  4. Air masses and fronts
  5. Thunderstoms and weather forecasting

5. Aerosols

  1. Natural and non natural particles in the atmosphere
  2. Nucleation, condensation, coagulation, diffusion and sedimentation of atmospheric particles
  3. Homogeneous and heterogeneous condensation
  4. Clouds and precipitation.
  5. Air quality

6. Pollution dispersion in the atmosphere

  1. Fick's law
  2. Diffusion versus advection
  3. Gaussian model
  4. Pollution disperssion versus atspheric profiles.



The course will be given entirely in Catalan. All the course material (slide presentations, problems, homework and exams) will be distributed in Catalan. Therefore, exams and problems in Spanish and English will be accepted.

This course will consist of theoretical lectures (3 hours per week) and solving practical problems (1 hour per week). Problem lists will be given to be solved previously . The solutions of the problems will be discussed in the problem classes.

The course also includes a practical work that students could do in small groups. The objective of the practice is to train student scientific communication skills.  

The students will have to prepare, at least, two written exams: a mid term exam, a second exam at the end of the course. Both exams, if it is needed could be re-taken once. 


Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Practical lectures 10 0.4 2, 3, 5, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10
Practices 8 0.32 9, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11
Theoretical lectures 34 1.36 3, 6, 7, 8, 10
Type: Autonomous      
Practical work 16 0.64 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12
Study and reading texts 53 2.12
Written work 15 0.6 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 11


There will be two compulsory exams. Students should get at least, a mark of 3,5 (over 10) as the arithmetic mean of the two exams. If they fail, there is a resit exam at the end of the regular course.

In each exam students should respond some multiple choice questions and solve two practical problems. Those student that do not get the minimum mark will have the opportunity for a resit exam only if they have atended at least to 2/3 of the evaluation tests of the course.

One single test: Those students that prefer be evaluated with one single exam should take into account that the exam will consist  of two parts: a first theoretical part and a second part in which four practical problems will have to be solved. In any case, the student must have completed the written practical work and/or Moodle practices. In order for the practical work grade to be taken into account in the final grade (30% of the final grade), the grade of the single test must be equal to or higher than 3.5.


Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Exam: first part 40 2 0.08 2, 9, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10, 1, 12
Exam: second part 40 2 0.08 2, 9, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 1, 12
Written work and/or practical molde 20 10 0.4 5, 11


Reference books

C.Donald Ahrens Meteorology Today Thomson (Paraninfo), Madrid 2003

Roland Stull Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers Thomson 2002

J.Martín Vide, Mapas del tiempo: Fundamentos, interpetración e imágenes de satélite, Oikos-tau,
Vilassar de Mar, 1991

Jordi Mazón, Mariano Barriendos, Marcel Costa, El temps a Catalunya dia a dia, Ara llibres, 2009

J.M.Wallace i P.V. Hobbs, Atmospheric Science, Academic Press, New York, 1977

Gerard Conesa Prieto, Anàlisi meteorològica a la mar, Edicions UPC, Barcelona 1993


Advanced references

W. Cotton, R. A. Pielke, Human Impacts on Weather and Climate, Cambridge, 1995.
R. G. Fleage, An Introduction to Atmospheric Physics, Academic Press, New York, 1980
V. Espert, P. Amparo, Dispersión de contaminantes en la atmósfera, Universidad Politécnica de
Valencia, Valencia, 2000
M.R.Estrela i M.M.Millán, Manual práctico de introducción a la meteorología, CEAM, 1994.
M. Grimalt, J. Martin-Vide i F.Mauri et. al., Els núvols, Edicions El Mèdol, 1995
J.T.Houghton et al. (ed.),Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1996.
J.E.Llebot, El canvi climàtic, Rubes Editorial, Barcelona, 1998
J.E.Llebot, Els fluids de la vida, Biblioteca Universitària n. 29, Ed. Proa. 1996
J.E. Llebot El temps és boig? i 74 preguntes més sobre el canvi climàtic, Rubes editorial, Barcelona 2005


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