GEOG2090 Climate Systems

Reading List
  • Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View timetable
  • Credits: 20
  • Class Size: 100
  • Module Manager: Dr Graeme Swindles
  • Email: g.t.swindles@leeds.ac.uk
  • This Module is approved as a Discovery Module
  • This module has the following Pre-requisites:
    • GEOG1055 Environmental Change: Past and Future

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

Module Summary

Over the last 20 years, climate change has become one of the most pressing concerns for society. This module explores the Earth’s atmosphere and the dynamics of the climate system. It considers anthropogenic and natural changes to the atmosphere and oceans that lead to climate change over a range of timescales from inter-annual to millions of years.

Objectives

After taking this module students will be able to

  • 1. Demonstrate an understanding of the climate system and allied processes within the ocean and atmosphere.
  • 2. Appreciate the patterns and scale of natural variations in the climate over a variety of timescales from millions of years to sub-decadal.
  • 3. Have a detailed understanding of the causes and nature of recent (last ~100 years) climate change.
  • 4. Understand the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean and land.

Syllabus

Theme 1: THE NATURE OF THE CLIMATE SYSTEM (Semester 1)
This theme may include the following topics:
The climate system; Atmospheric dynamics; Water in the atmosphere; Earth’s contemporary climate; Climate-Ocean interactions; Climate modelling (Atmosphere: Radiative transfer and greenhouse effect; Ocean dynamics; Fully coupled ocean atmosphere land system); Recent climate change; Looking to the future from a modeller’s perspective.

Theme 2: CHANGE IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM OVER DIFFERENT TIMESCALES (Semester 2)
This may include the following topics:
Evolution of the climate system; Climate change over geological timescales; Milankovitch-scale climate change; Glacials and Interglacials; Sub-Milankovitch climate change; Climate forcing over different timescales; The last termination; Holocene climate change; Historical climate change; Looking to the future from a palaeoclimatologist’s perspective.

Learning Outcomes

The dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice and the inter-relationships between the discipline and the physical and natural sciences, the social sciences and humanities.
The diversity of global environments and the operation of, and inter-relationships between physical and biological systems over a wide range of spatial and temporal scales.
Patterns and processes of environmental change and their inter-relationships with human activities.
The theory and application of quantitative, visualisation and other spatial techniques across a wide range of geographical contexts.

Skills Outcomes

Cognitive skills
Abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources
Assessment and critical evaluation of the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies
Critical analysis and interpretation of data and text
Developing reasoned arguments
Solving problems and making reasoned decisions
Practical/professional skills
Plan, design, execute and report geographical research both individually and as part of a team
Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data
Key skills
Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations)
Use information technology effectively (including use of spreadsheet, database and word processing programmes; Internet and e-mail)
Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
Work as part of a team and to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others
Manage time and organise work effectively

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching

Coursework

Assesment type Notes % of formal assesment
Practical 1. Tree rings and climate change, 1500 words 30
Computer Exercise 1. Climate modelling 30
Total percentages (Assessment Coursework) 60

Exams

Exam type Exam duration % of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 1 hr 30 mins 40
Total Percentage (Assesment Exams) 40

Private Study

Lectures and practicals will be accompanied by reading lists (textbooks and journal articles), with an expectation of around three hours reading in support of each lecture. Further private study time will be spent in preparing coursework and revising for the exam, and in preparing group presentations.
An informal formative ‘quiz’ will be set on VLE (independent online learning).

Progress Monitoring

Coursework will provide formal opportunities for feedback between staff and students.
Informal class tests will be used allow students to obtain individual feedback and also allow us to monitor the engagement of individual students with the module.
An informal formative ‘quiz’ will be set on VLE (independent online learning).

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Workshop 1 4 4
Class tests, exams and assessment 2 1 2
Lecture 20 1 20
Practical 3 3 9
Seminar 2 2 4
Private Study Hours 157
Independant Online Learning Hours 4
Total Contact Hours 39
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 200

Reading List

Reading List
A link to the Library reading list area is now available from the Web Module Catalogue

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