Atmospheric Environment Processes

Subject ATOC20002 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 x one hour lectures per week; 1 x two hour practial class per week. Some practical work may be computer-based and take place at times decided by the students
Total Time Commitment: Estimated total time commitment of 120 hours

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:



Subject Overview:

The subject addresses the fundamental processes and variables of atmospheric thermodynamics, stability, and energetics and shows how these influence regional meteorological processes. Topics include fundamental atmospheric properties; observational methods; equations of state; dry and moist thermodynamics; clouds and precipitation; air pollution meteorology; surface energy exchanges; boundary layer physics; and mesoscale processes.

On completion of this subject, students should comprehend the fundamental processes of atmospheric thermodynamics, stability and energetics; and understand how these influence regional scale meteorological processes.


Students should build upon the skills and understanding obtained in ATOC20001 Weather and Climate Systems by obtaining an in-depth appreciation of the processes that are responsible for the structure and properties of the atmospheric environment, particularly at smaller scales. Students should develop an appreciation of the role of many of the fundamental atmospheric processes, including atmospheric thermodynamics, stability, energetics, and cloud microphysics, and how these processes interact with their local environment on the regional scale. Students should also gain an appreciation of the interaction between larger scale weather systems and local scale variations such as land use, coastlines, and topography.


Six practical assignments and problem sets due during semester (not exceeding 2000 words in total, 40%); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (60%). The practical assignments will be set at approximately equal intervals throughout semester.

Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts: Atmospheric Science, An Introductory Survey by J.M.Wallace and P.V.Hobbs (students are not required to purchase this text)
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

This subject will also offer students the chance to develop skills in problem solving, and in being able to understand the working of complex systems in terms of its component parts. Such critical skills are transferable to a wide range of problems and issues in environmental science.

This subject and its first semester companion should give students enough background to pursue further studies in meteorology and oceanography, since by the end of the these two semesters students should have encountered and understood many of the relevant concepts. The subject should also build a student's ability to present technical work in written form, a skill that is useful in later studies and careers.

This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Science credit subjects* for pre-2008 BSc, BASc and combined degree science courses
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG. Core selective subjects for B-BMED.

Download PDF version.