EOSC 112 · The Fluid Earth: Atmosphere and Ocean

Introduction to processes in ocean and atmosphere. Heat, current, winds, clouds, marine life, resources. Effects of coupling, climate change, pollution. (Consult the Credit Exclusion list, within the Faculty of Science section in the Calendar.) [3-0-0]
Corequisite: EOSC 111 is recommended.

Course Availability & Schedule

 Non-specialist course

Learning Goals

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • DESCRIBE Earth as an integrated system consisting of interacting components driven by a continuous supply of energy
  • EXPLAIN how interactions within the Earth system control climate on Earth.
  • APPLY this knowledge to explain the long-term evolution of Earth’s environment and climate. APPLY this knowledge to explain shorter term climatic variability in the modern world.
  • Critically EVALUATE public information on present global environmental changes and the effect of natural variability versus anthropogenic forcing.
  • CONTRIBUTE TO informed social and political debates over global climate, and local environmental issues.
  • See also learning goals for non-specialist courses.


Section 101: Sara Harris and Stephanie Waterman Section 201: Roger Francois and TBA EOSC 112 is currently part of EOS-SEI, the EOS Science Education Initiative.


The Earth System (2nd ed.): Kump, L.R., J.F. Kasting and R.G. Crane (2004), Pearson Prentice Hall, N.J. 419 pages. (highly recommended but NOT required)

Course Content

EOSC 112 Vista website (CWL login required) The Earth Course Assistance Centre is a free help service for all students in 1st year EOSC courses.

Lecture Topics

1 Introduction; The Systems Approach 2 Global Energy Balance 3-4 Atmospheric Structure and Vertical Winds 5-6 Wind-Driven and Thermohaline Circulation 7 Plate Tectonics 8-9 The Biosphere: Classification, Ecosystems, Ecology, Oceanic Productivity 10 The Carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Cycles 11 Origin and Evolution of Life; Long-term Climate Regulation 12 Long-term Climate Variability 13 Global Warming; Review


It is recommended to take the 1-credit laboratory course EOSC 111 concurrently with EOSC 112. However, it is not required to do so and one can register for EOSC 112 without taking EOSC 111.  Please note that EOS majors and honours students need to complete EOSC 111, so if you are thinking of pursuing a degree in EOS, we highly recommend you take EOSC 111 now, concurrently with EOSC 112.