SOEE3480 Past Global Environmental Systems

Reading List
  • Taught: Semester 2 View timetable
  • Credits: 10
  • Class Size: 60
  • Module Manager: Dr Rob Newton
  • Email: R.J.Newton@leeds.ac.uk
  • This Module is approved as a Discovery Module
  • This module replaces EARS3410
  • This module has the following Pre-requisites:
    • SOEE2145 Palaeoecology, Palaeobiology and Evolution

Discovery module overview

Module Summary

Module Summary

In this module you will understand and interpret the interacting factors that have controlled the Earth's climate and global environments through geological time at times of both crisis and during background states that were fundamentally different to today. You will be able to integrate multidisciplinary data sources (geochemical, geological, palaeontological, modelling) and use them to evaluate the causes of phenomena such as glaciation, mass extinction and intense greenhouse climates. This module is taught in semester 2 through lectures and paper practicals and is assessed by an examination.

Objectives

On completion of this module, you should be able to understand and interpret the interacting factors that have controlled the Earth's climate and global environments through geological time at times of both crisis and during background states that were fundamentally different to today.
You will be able to integrate multidisciplinary data sources (geochemical, geological, palaeontological) with the results from palaeoclimate models and use them to evaluate the causes of phenomena such as glaciation, mass extinction and intense greenhouse climates.

Syllabus

  • 1. The climate system
  • 2. Proxies for palaeoenvironment
  • 3. Modelling approaches to palaeoenvironments
  • 4. The Precambrian oxidation of Earth’s surface environments and Snowball Earth
  • 5. The end-Permian mass extinction
  • 6. The early Triassic recovery
  • 7. CO2 control of climate in the Cenozoic
  • 8. Gateway control of climate in the Cenozoic
  • 9. Orbital control on climate
  • 10. Rapid climate change in the Quaternary and course wrap-up

Note that the module description is flexible enough that the exact mix of case studies can change easily to allow for contributions by other staff in future years.

Learning Outcomes

An understanding of the range of approaches and proxies used to evaluate the palaeo-environmental conditions at the Earth’s surface
Specific knowledge of a range of case studies which highlight different controls on the evolution of Earth surface environments at a number of key points in Earth’s history.

Assessment and teaching

Assessment and teaching

Coursework

Assesment type Notes % of formal assesment
Poster Presentation In Groups 20
Total percentages (Assessment Coursework) 20

Exams

Exam type Exam duration % of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) 1 hr 30 mins 80
Total Percentage (Assesment Exams) 80

Private Study

20 hours group poster preparation
3 hours preparatory reading per lecture
35 hours revision

Progress Monitoring

Written exam practice exercise - 1,200 words.

Teaching methods

Delivery type Number Length hours Student hours
Group Project 1 20 0
Lecture 10 2 15
Private Study Hours 85
Total Contact Hours 15
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits) 100

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