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Human-induced climate change is the most serious problem currently facing our planet - a global problem with increasingly obvious local impacts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that the next 10 years will be critical to averting catastrophic climate change. The science is complex, but there is strong international consensus around much of our climate change knowledge. Gaining an understanding of the science of climate change and appreciating where the certainty and uncertainty lie are important first steps to more confidently engaging in the action that is so urgently required.

In this unit, you will learn why scientists are so certain that climate change is occurring, is caused by humans, and is causing impacts on human and other natural systems. Tasmania has a global reputation as a centre for climate research, and UTas has many internationally renowned researchers working in diverse disciplines with relevance to climate impacts and adaptation. We will hear from many of these experts, including IPCC authors, regional climate modellers and climate impact scientists.

Summary 2020

Unit name Introduction to the Science of Climate Change
Unit code KGA104
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography and Spatial Sciences

Rebecca Harris

Teaching staff

Nick Earl

Level Introductory
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

1 Explain the drivers and impacts of climate change and climate variability at different times-scales, using key climate science concepts

2 Describe the information we get from global and regional climate models and the importance of accounting for uncertainty in planning for the future

3 Explain the science of climate change using evidence-based information in a range of formats (verbally, short written pieces and graphically).

4 Discuss the impacts of climate change on physical, biological and human systems on local and global levels.



Teaching Pattern

Delivered fully on-line


AT1 - Infographic (20%)

AT2 - Field Notes/Report (40%)

AT3 - Presentation (40%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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