Human induced climate change is arguably the most serious problem currently facing our planet. Detection and attribution of human-induced climate change requires an understanding of the mechanisms of natural climate variability as well as trends in climate. Earth's climate is a coupled system between atmosphere, ocean, land surface, biota, snow and ice. Gaining an understanding of how our climate system works is an important first step to more confidently diagnosing and predicting the effects and impacts of human induced climate change.
In this unit you will learn how Earth's climate works. We will begin to understand mechanisms underpinning important known natural climate variations such as El Nino Southern Oscillation. To achieve these ends, we examine global climate observations (in situ and by satellite), estimations of past climate variability; learn about global and regional climate models; consider detection and attribution techniques to discern human induced climate change above natural variability; the impacts of climate change on human and biological systems; and examine recent statements by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on human induced climate change.
|Unit name||Our Changing Climate|
|College/School||College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences
|Discipline||Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences|
|Coordinator||Doctor Kathy Allen|
|Available as an elective?||Yes|
|Delivered By||University of Tasmania|
|Location||Study period||Attendance options||Available to|
|Hobart||Semester 2||On-Campus||Off-Campus||International International||Domestic Domestic|
- International students
- Domestic students
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|Study Period||Start date||Census date||WW date||End date|
* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).
Unit census dates currently displaying for 2022 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2022 will be available from the 1st October 2021. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).
- Analyse interactions and feedbacks in climate systems and under climate change
- Evaluate spatial and temporal climate variability and trends using climate model simulations, historical and palaeoclimatic data
- Evaluate the impacts of climate change on physical, biological and human systems
- Obtain scientific information and present it graphically, quantitatively, qualitatively and via oral presentation
- Work constructively in groups to produce scientific outputs
|Field of Education||Commencing Student Contribution 1||Grandfathered Student Contribution 1||Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2||Domestic Full Fee|
1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.
Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.
Prerequisites(KGA204 - Earth, Climate and Life OR KGA209 - Biogeography and Climatology OR KSA205 - Introduction to Oceanography)
Weekly 2-hour lecture, 3-hour practical 8 times per semester
|Assessment||Lecture quiz (10%)|Report (30%)|Monash Simple Climate Model (10%)|Group oral presentation and discussion (15%)|Introduction to paleoclimatology: tree rings (15%)|Essay (20%)|
|Timetable||View the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable|
IPCC 2021 Summary for Policy Makers in Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Masson-Delmotte V, Zhai P, Pirani A, Connors SL, Pèan C, Berger S, Caud N, Chen Y, Goldfarb L, Gomis MI, Huang M, Leitzell K, Lonnoy E, Matthews JBR, Maycock TK, Waterfield T, Yelekci O, Yu R (Eds) Cambridge University Press. In press. 41pp
IPCC 2022 Summary for Policy Makers, inAR6 Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. The Working Group II Contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report Pörtner H-O, Roberts DC, Tignor M, Poloczanska ES, Mintenbeck K, Alergia A, Caig M, Langsdorf S, Löschke S, Möller V, Okem A, Rama (Eds) Cambridge University Press
Chapters 2-6 and 11 also pertinent.
|Links||Booktopia textbook finder|
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