• University of California-San Diego
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SIO 217D: Atmospheric Chemistry

Spring 2004

Instructor: Lynn Russell
Lecture: M,W 11-12:20 (NTV 330)
Lecture Course (4 Credits)


After their first release to the atmosphere, it took about four decades before Molina and Rowland (1974) showed that the CFCs harm the ozone layer, and another two decades before their production was halted by international regulations. It will take up to half a century before the ozone hole will close again, showing the long chemical lifetimes involved. This course provides an introduction to the constituents and time scales of chemistry in the troposphere and stratosphere. We will investigate the anthropogenic contributions to ozone through CFCs as well as key chemical cycles in photochemistry - HOx, ClOx, NOx, SOx, ROx, and particles. Current climate change uncertainties highlight the role of multiphase reactions in catalyzing new processes in the atmosphere, requiring a new dimension in our measurements and modelling of atmospheric chemistry. The underlying principles of reaction mechanisms, thermodynamic equilibria, and gas-particle interactions will be used to provide the fundamental tools needed to understand atmospheric chemistry.

Course Requirements:

  1. Problem sets (not graded)
  2. Literature readings (discussions, to be organized)
  3. Final exam (2 parts, to be scheduled)

Course Textbook and Reserves:

Course Textbook (Available at SIO/Aquarium Bookstore):
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Change, ed. G.P. Brasseur, J.J. Orlando, G.S. Tyndall, 1999.
Course Reserves:
  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, J.H. Seinfeld and S.N. Pandis, 1997
  • Chemistry of the Upper and Lower Atmosphere, B.J. Finlayson-Pitts and J.N. Pitts Jr., 1999
  • Microphysics of Clouds and Precipitation, H.R. Pruppacher and J.D. Klett, 1999
  • Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry, D. Jacob, 1999