ES 412: Atmospheric Gases (MAS)

Course Title

Atmospheric Gases (MAS)

Course Code

ES 412

Course Type




Year / Semester

 1st/ 2nd

Instructor’s Name

 Efstratios Bourtsoukidis (Lead Instructor), Jean-Daniel Paris, Jonathan Williams, Nikos Mihalopoulos, Tuija Jokinen, Charbel Afif



Lectures / week

 6/7 (3hr)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

This course aims to provide a detailed overview of the mechanisms controlling the gaseous atmospheric composition, highlighting the impact of anthropogenic and natural emissions on the Earth’s system. The lectures will link these emissions to their effects on air quality and climate, underlining the importance of understanding atmospheric chemistry processes. The course is designed to equip students with the skills to understand and analyze atmospheric data, enabling insights into emissions, land- atmosphere interactions, and their wider implications for air quality and health. By focusing on these key areas, the course prepares students to actively engage in trace gas-related research.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students should be competent in understanding fundamental atmospheric chemical processes, including the links between emissions, chemical processing, and the formation of secondary pollutants. They will have an in-depth understanding of:

  • The relationships between gaseous atmospheric composition, climate, and air quality;
  • Sources of anthropogenic and biogenic trace gases;
  • Photochemical processes and chemical reactions that determine the atmosphere's oxidative capacity;
  • Formation and depletion of tropospheric and stratospheric ozone;
  • Connections between emitted gases and the formation of new particles;
  • Fundamentals of measurement techniques.



 Required  None 

Course Content

  • Fundamentals on Atmospheric Gases and Air Quality (EB)
  • Greenhouse Gases (JDP)
  • Reactive Trace Gases (EB)
  • Atmospheric Chemistry (EB/JW)
  • Biogeochemical Cycles (NM)
  • Links between gases and aerosols (TJ)
  • Hands-on Equipment and Data Analysis (EB)

Teaching Methodology

 Lectures / Field work and data analysis


  • Seinfeld, J. and Pandis, S. 1998, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change, Wiley Interscience, New York.
  • Jacob, D. "Introduction to atmospheric chemistry." Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry. Princeton University Press, 1999.
  • Kloepfer and B. O. Wagner, Atmospheric Degradation of Organic Substances, Wiley-VCH, 2007
  • Warnek P. and Williams J., The Atmospheric Chemist’s Companion, Springer, 2012.


 Coursework and exam



Publications & Media