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John Higgins - Teaching

GEO203 - Fundamentals of the solid Earth(Fall 2012)

A quantitative introduction to Solid Earth System Science, focusing on the underlying physical processes and their geological and geophysical expression. Topics include basic physical conservation laws, examples of constitutive relationships, waves, transport phenomena, geopotential fields, geologic time, basic thermodynamics and mineralogy. Single variable calculus is a prerequisite. The course serves as a prerequisite for several upper-level GEO and CEE courses.


GEO534 - Geological constraints on climate sensitivity (Spring 2013)

Earth system and climate sensitivity relate changes in greenhouse gas concentrations and other radiative forcers to changes in temperature, both in Earth's past and in the future. The Cenozoic record provided by paleo-temperature and paleo-CO2 proxies can constrain these parameters and thus also the projected response of the planet to human-induced changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. This course will explore the concepts of climate and Earth system sensitivity, the methods and records of paleo-temperature and paleo-carbon dioxide proxies in the Cenozoic, and the statistical challenges of inferring sensitivities from these proxies.