- Code EMSC6021
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Earth and Marine Science
Climate change has been identified as one of the biggest challenges facing humankind. The goal of this course is to provide students with the scientific principles and empirical evidence that underpin the modern understanding of anthropogenic climate change. We will develop a quantitative understanding of the fundamental physics (radiation and surface energy balance, dynamics) governing the earth system. We will examine the synthesis of climate observations to discern current global trends and investigate past climates. In particular, we will analyse uncertainties in the current predictions and outline ways in which the scientific community is moving to refine these predictions. Key components of the course will be informed using insights from ongoing research within the ARC Centre of Excellence in Climate System Science.
Note: Graduate students in this course attend joint classes with undergraduates but are assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Apply fundamental physics to the theory of global warming;
2. Describe the historical development of the scientific underpinnings of the theory of global warming;
3. Explain current constraints on (i) our understanding of climate change, (ii) climate observations and (iii) climate models;
4. Evaluate the uncertainties in climate predictions;
5. Discuss and evaluate the accuracy of public statements on climate change in the popular press.
Assessment will be based on:
- Assignments (70%, LO 1-5)
- Laboratory Classes (30%, LO 1 and 3)
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Five contact hours per week comprising lectures and practicals/tutorials. Students are expected to spend an average of a further 5 hours per week on work related to the course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Pierrehumbert, R. T. (2010), Principles of Planetary Climate, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Assumed KnowledgeAt least 6 units of tertiary level mathematics
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.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
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