10 x 1-hour on-line exercises per semester
2 x 1-hour on-line lectures weekly
1 x 1-hour on-line tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of EASC2702, WARM8702 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
University graduate-level Earth Sciences and an undergraduate degree in environmental science, hydrology or a relevant discipline of science and engineering.
Assignment(s), Exercises, Quiz
Topic description

This topic covers the definitions of climate, climate variability and climate change within geological, historical, and future time frames. It introduces students to climatic classifications, the composition and structure of the atmosphere, radiation balances and the Greenhouse effect, surface heat fluxes, the general circulation of the atmosphere, the hydrological cycle, carbon cycles, the role of the ocean in the climate system, inter-annual climate variability (e.g. El Nino events), extreme events, sea level rise, climate feedback mechanisms, climate proxies and dating, climate models and climate projections for the future.

Educational aims

This topic aims to develop:

  • Detailed knowledge of processes that control and modify the Earth's climate globally, regionally, and locally
  • An appreciation of the factors that modify climate, including extreme events triggered by geological processes and by climate itself
  • Detailed understanding of the context of modern climates in relation to past ones
  • A capacity to comprehend the contemporary debate about anthropogenic effects in climate change in the context of scientific evidence
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate advanced knowledge of the science relating to past and contemporary climate and climate change
  2. Evaluate arguments about climate change through reference to earlier climate events in the history of the earth and comment in an informed and scientific way of the effects of human activity on climate
  3. Use models of global and regional climate for assessing the effects of changes to principal driving factors