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GEOB 300

Microscale Weather and Climate

GEOG 311 - Urban Environments

by Ian McKendry - 'Microscale Weather and Climate' introduces you the nature of the atmosphere and processes close to the Earth's surface on small scales, extending in space from those of a leaf up to that of a large valley. We focus on interactions between the surface, vegetation and atmosphere. We gain an understanding of and describe mass- momentum and energy exchange, turbulence, dispersion and atmospheric circulations in the context of forcing surface processes and global climate. The course introduces basic instrumentation and methods used in today's monitoring and modeling of microscale climate and surface-atmosphere exchange.


 Lectures and Exams
Date Topic Assign-
06-Sep-17 1 Introduction and course overview.  
08-Sep-17 2 Studying microclimates - concepts.  
11-Sep-17 3 Energy and mass balances.  
13-Sep-17 4 Radiation geometry and 'sun-paths'  
15-Sep-17 5 Short-wave radiative transfer.  
18-Sep-17 6 Short-wave reflection and albedo.  
20-Sep-17 7 Long-wave radiation and emissivity.  
22-Sep-17 8 Net all-wave radiation. Download Assignment
25-Sep-17 9 Field site visit - Radiation instrumentation.
Meet 09:00 am at UBC Totem Field gate
27-Sep-17 10 Soil thermal properties.  
29-Sep-17 11 Soil heat transfer. Due date for Assignment
03-Oct-17 12 Modelling sub-surface temperatures. Download Assignment
04-Oct-17 13 Radiation and heat transfer in water, snow and ice.  
06-Oct-17 14 Radiation in complex terrain.  
09-Oct-17 University closed (Thanksgiving)  
11-Oct-17 15 Laminar and turbulent flow. Due date for Assignment
13-Oct-17 Midterm Examination
(FAQ, Exam, Answer Key, Statistics)
16-Oct-17 16 Production of atmospheric turbulence.  
18-Oct-17 17 Dissipation of atmospheric turbulence.  
20-Oct-17 18 Turbulence - statistically approached.  
23-Oct-17 19 Models and theories of turbulence.  
25-Oct-17 20 Momentum transfer.  
27-Oct-17 No class  
30-Oct-17 21 Velocity profile laws. Download Assignment
01-Nov-17 22 Flux-gradient relations.  
03-Nov-17 23 Eddy covariance.  
06-Nov-17 24 Dynamic stability. Due date for Assignment
08-Nov-17 25 Turbulent exchage in non-neutral situations.  
10-Nov-17 26 Convective and stable boundary layers.  
13-Nov-17 University closed (Remembrance Day)


ASSIGN 4 (eddy covariance system)
Download Assignment
15-Nov-17 28 Surface heterogeneity and advection.  
17-Nov-17 29 Flow in complex orography.  
20-Nov-17 30 The water cycle at land-atmosphere interfaces. Due date for Assignment
22-Nov-17 31 Applications: Smoke Layer Impacts  
24-Nov-17 32 Land atmosphere interactions in a changing global climate.  
27-Nov-17 33 Final class:Review/evaluation/exam instructions  
6 - Dec-17 Final Examination (FAQ, Exam, Answer Key).  

All dates and topics might be still subject to change.


Course Information


Term 1 2017/18

Mon Wed Fri 09:00 to 09:50
Geography Building Room 101.

Course prerequisites

The course is scientific in approach. Please be sure you have the prerequisite course (GEOB 200, GEOB 204 or ATSC 201). GEOB 300 is prerequisite for GEOB 401 and GEOB 402.

Course evaluation

Please be sure to know the rules for exams and assignments. Marks for the course will be allocated as follows:

Reading Assignments

Reading packages are available for download from this webpage for students enrolled in the course. It consists of draft chapters from an upcoming 3rd Edition of 'Boundary Layer Climates' by T. R. Oke and A. Christen (permission by authors for use only in this course).


Online glossary of terms.


Ian McKendry
Department of Geography
250 - 1984 West Mall ian@geog.ubc.ca
Instructor Office Hour
Wed 10:15 - 11:00
(Weekly Sep 9 to Dec 2, 2017 except
on holidays).

Teaching Assistant

Nick Lee
Department of Geography
1984 West Mall
TA Office Hours (Rm 216A)
   Updated 6 October 2017
12-Oct-17 15:30 - 16:30
 1-Nov-17 10:30 - 11:30
 3 Nov-17  15:30-16:30
20-Nov-17 10:30 - 11:30
23-Nov-17 15:30 - 16:30


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Latest changes : August 26, 2016.