Kaisa_2012_3_photo by Veikko Somerpuro



This is the course page for ATM355 "Atmospheric General CIrculation I". However, the course material and most of the other information will only be available on the Moodle page, https://moodle.helsinki.fi/course/view.php?id=3582


Here is the course’s teaching schedule. Check the description for possible other schedules.

Mon 13.1.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 14.1.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Mon 20.1.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 21.1.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Mon 27.1.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 28.1.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Mon 3.2.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 4.2.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Mon 10.2.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 11.2.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Mon 17.2.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 18.2.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Mon 24.2.2020
14:15 - 16:00
Tue 25.2.2020
12:15 - 14:00
Wed 4.3.2020
09:00 - 13:00

Other teaching

14.01. - 25.02.2020 Tue 14.15-16.00
Teaching language: English


Master’s Programme in Atmospheric Sciences is responsible for the course.

Module where the course belongs to:

  • ATM300 Advanced Studies in Atmospheric Sciences
    Compulsory for:
    1. Study Track in Meteorology

The course is available to students from other degree programmes.

Thermodynamic and hydrodynamic laws governing the behavior of the atmosphere and their basic applications (e.g. from the BSc level courses FYS2032 Atmospheric thermodynamics and FYS2033 Introduction to Atmospheric flow dynamics). Overview of the heat budget of the surface and the atmosphere (e.g. from FYS2035 Physical Climatology). Derivation and integration. Common vector operations. Fourier series.

Participation to the courses ATM348 and ATM349 (Dynamics of atmospheric flow structures I-II) before this course is recommended.

In this course you get an observationally based view on the large-scale behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere and learn how this behavior can be understood theoretically using thermodynamic and hydrodynamic principles. In particular, you gain a detailed understanding of the atmospheric energy and angular momentum budgets and the role of different atmospheric circulation systems in transporting energy and angular momentum.

Recommended time for completion is in spring term either in the first or second year of MSc studies.

The course is offered each year in period III.

  • Observed time mean conditions and variability in the free atmosphere
  • Temporal filtering of time series
  • General balance conditions for time mean variables in the atmosphere
  • Zonal angular momentum budget in the atmosphere
  • Different forms of energy in atmosphere
  • Budget of atmospheric dry and moist heat and potential energy
  • Budget of kinetic energy and available potential energy
  • Theory of the formation of the zonally averaged time mean flow, including in particular the interaction between the mean flow and eddies and the maintenance of the Ferrel cells.
  • Stationary waves in the atmosphere and their maintenance mechanisms. Propagation of stationary Rossby waves.
  • Low-frequency atmospheric variability and its causes, with a focus on the ENSO (including its teleconnections) and NAO phenomena.,
  • Numerical simulation of climate with coupled atmosphere-ocean climate models, the main feedback mechanisms and the parameterization problem.

Lecture notes

Lecture compendium "Ilmakehän yleinen kiertoliike I"

Weekly lectures and exercises. Individual work. Total hours 135.

Grading is based on the exam (75%) and exercises (25%). 45% of total maximum points is required for grade 1/5. 85% of total maximum points is required for grade 5/5.

The course has weekly lectures and exercises. Attendance is not obligatory but recommended.

To complete the course, you need to get a sufficient total number of points from the exams and exercises.