• Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Environmental Science
  • Areas of interest Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery Online

This course is not offered in 2015.


This course is offered on-line.


Global environmental change, and particularly climate change, as a result of human activities are now generally accepted as reality. While uncertainties remain as to the exact timing and regional character of many of the impacts of climate change resulting from the 'enhanced greenhouse effect', there is considerable scientific understanding of climate change processes. Of equal importance are the social, economic and political implications of climate change, and the ways in which we attempt to manage and adapt to this change.


This course  focuses  on the science of climate change and carbon accounting in terrestrial systems, against the background of the policy context for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The principles and practice of carbon accounting are explored by applying current scientific understanding of the factors influencing carbon in the environment, based on a range of modeling approaches.  An overview of the importance of national carbon accounting capability in the context of the Australian federal government's carbon tax legislation and the Clean Energy Future initiatives to reduce carbon emissions synthesizes the elements of the course. Topics covered include:


  • Climate change science and policy
    • o    The enhanced greenhouse effect and climate change
    • o    The policy context of climate change management
    • o    Managing risk and uncertainty
  • Plants, agriculture and climate change
    • o    The terrestrial carbon cycle
    • o    Land management perspectives on carbon
  • Principles of carbon accounting
    • o    Measuring forest carbon
    • o    The post-harvest fate of forest carbon
    • o    Rangelands carbon management
    • o    National Carbon accounting


Understanding carbon accounting in the context of the federal government Carbon Tax legislation and Clean Energy Future initiatives. Practical work focuses on understanding carbon budgets and carbon accounting through the use of a variety of models. Students assess their own learning progress via four self-tests at critical points in the course.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:


On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have developed the skills and knowledge to:


  1. understand the underlying principles of greenhouse and the science of climate change within a policy framework of climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  2. better evaluate carbon accounting method strengths and challenges in the context of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the federal government's Carbon Tax legislation and Clean Energy Future initiatives.

Indicative Assessment

Students assess their own learning progress via self-tests at critical points in the course.

  • Two quizzes (20% of total mark) (LO1)
  • Each module includes an assignment or practical report; five reports are submitted for assessment (80% of total mark) (LO1, LO2).


The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course is not offered in 2014.

On-line course. 10 hours per week comprising course content and self study.

Prescribed Texts


IPCC, 2007: Summary for Policymakers, in "Climate Change 2007: the Physical Science Basis.  Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change", eds Solomon, S et al., Cambridge University Press.
(see www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf)



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $3096
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2015 $4146
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

There are no current offerings for this course.

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