Atmospheric Environments: Climatology

Humanities & Social Sciences
Geography and the Environment
Course Code
GEOG 2210
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Field Experience
Course Designation
Industry Designation
Typically Offered


Course Description
This physical geography lab course follows GEOG 1110 and examines climatological and meteorological processes of the atmospheric environment. Exchange and transformation of energy and moisture are explored in topics such as daily weather variations (e.g. temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, and severe weather) and environmental issues (e.g. air pollution, urban heat islands, ozone depletion and global climate change). Field work, data collection, and data analysis are emphasized.
Course Content
  • Introduction to Climatology
  • The Atmosphere
    • Origin
    • Structure, function and composition
  • Energy Principles and Concepts
    • Types of energy
    • Laws of Thermodynamics
  • Radiation
    • Radiation balance
    • Radiation laws and distribution
    • Greenhouse effect
  • Surface Energy Balance 
    • Sensible and latent energy
    • Transfers and exchanges
    • Patterns of spatial distribution
  • Atmospheric Moisture
    • Measurement of humidity
    • Evaporation and condensation processes
    • Connections to surface energy and moisture balances
  • Adiabatic Processes and Stability
    • Adiabatic lapse rates
    • Construction and use of tephigrams
    • Cloud development
    • Potential temperature
    • Precipitation formation and measurements
  • Atmospheric Circulation
    • Forces affecting air motion
    • Surface and upper air circulation
    • Interaction between upper air circulation and surface conditions
    • Regional winds
    • Local winds
  • Global Circulation
    • Models of atmospheric and ocean circulations
    • Teleconnections
    • Climatic classification and indices
    • Climatic controls and patterns
  • Weather Forecasting
    • Types of forecasts
    • Spatial and temporal scales of forecasts
    • Data requirements and accuracy
  • Climate Change
    • Natural and anthropogenic causes
    • Urban climates
    • Air pollution
  • Applied Climatology
    • Sustainable energy:  wind and solar
    • Urban design solutions for climate change adaptation
    • Geoengineering solutions and impacts
Learning Activities

This course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:


  • Lecture
  • Labs
  • Field Work
  • Multimedia
  • Individual and/or Team Projects
  • Small Group Discussions
  • Map Analysis


Means of Assessment

Assessment will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria during the first week of classes.

An example of an evaluation scheme would be:

Labs 30%
Project 20%
Lab Exam 10%
Midterm Exam   20%
Final Exam 20%
Total 100%



Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, the successful student will be able to:

  1. Describe and use the frameworks of science applicable to 2nd-year physical geography.
  2. Describe and explain the forms and exchanges of radiation and heat energy and discuss the laws applicable to the development of a radiation balance for the earth and its atmosphere.
  3. Explain the constructs and quantitative representations of energy and moisture budgets and their connections to different observed environmental conditions.
  4. Compute adiabatic lapse rates and evaluate conditions of stability and instability in the atmosphere including the use of temperature entropy diagrams.
  5. Describe and explain the forces controlling air motion and the resultant types of wind patterns.
  6. Describe and explain the relationship between upper level circulation and surface pressure patterns.
  7. Describe and explain methods used to measure climatologic elements.
  8. Describe and explain natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change at multiple scales.
  9. Apply climatological principles to evaluate potential solutions to environmental issues such as improving the climates of urban areas, air quality, and sustainable energy development.


Textbook Materials

Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples of texts would be:

  • Aguado, E. and J.E. Burt. (2015). Understanding Weather and Climate, 7th edition.   Pearson Prentice Hall.
  • Ahrens, D., Jackson, P.L, and C.J. Jackson (2016). Meteorology Today: An Introduction To Weather, Climate, and the Environment, Second Canadian Edition. Nelson.
  • Ross, S. L. (2017).  Weather and Climate: an Introduction. Second Edition Oxford.





No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for GEOG 2210
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU GEOG 214 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 2310 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 2280 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GEOG 214 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 2XXX (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GEOG 2XX (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GEOG 200 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GEOS 200 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENSC 201 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 201 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GEOG 272 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Fall 2023