The Middle Atmosphere

The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the subject of the middle atmosphere, i.e. stratosphere and mesosphere. The students are supposed to apply and transfer the knowledge on mathematics and physics gained in the first semesters to this subject, and develop an understanding for the complex interplay of different physical and chemical processes. 
The lecture will start with an overview on structure and important features of the middle atmosphere from the tropopause to the mesopause region. Methods to observe this region will be briefly discussed. Following is an introduction to radiative transfer and chemical processes important in the middle atmosphere, focusing on ozone. The largest part of the course will deal with dynamics of the middle atmosphere, in particular with the propagation of Rossby, Kelvin and gravity waves, their importance for the atmospheric meridional circulation and the deviation of the middle atmosphere from radiative equilibrium. The complex interplay of radiation, chemistry and dynamics in the middle atmosphere will be presented discussing the atmospheric response to volcanic and solar forcing. The course will finish with an overview on open scientific question concerning the middle atmosphere, for instance its importance for tropospheric weather and climate.  


The course will consist of 1 weekly lecture during one semester. To obtain credit points (2 CPs) the students will have to give a seminar on one publication on a self-chosen topic in the field of middle atmosphere research.