- Code ENVS6303
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by Fenner School of Environment and Society
- ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
- Course subject Environmental Science
- Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences, Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies - Sustainability, Resource Management and Environmental Science, Environmental Studies
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
- Co-taught Course
Please direct all inquiries and correspondence regarding this course to firstname.lastname@example.org. Biennial course. Offered in 2018. Next offered in 2020.
The atmosphere and climate are a critical part of the earth system, and climatic variability and change are central to the issue of current and future global environmental change. This course is directed towards developing deeper understanding of climatic variability and change, and their importance to the management of the global system. The course focuses on three related topics that highlight the functioning of the climate system, and the interactions between humans and the atmosphere, at a range of temporal and spatial scales.
Beginning at the mesoscale, human-atmosphere interactions in urban environments are investigated, including characteristics and impacts of urban climate modifications, air pollution potential and related issues, and the role of complex terrain in modifying the climate near the ground. The second topic explores regional-scale weather systems and the larger-scale interactions between the oceans and atmosphere that are a critical link in the functioning of the climate system at all scales. Ocean-atmosphere dynamics and interaction processes and their role in inter-annual and low frequency climate variability are considered in the context of current research on the El Niño Southern Oscillation and its impacts, and of long-term climate variation and change. Finally, the ways in which conceptual and dynamical models are used to develop our understanding of the climate system and climate change at all scales are studied. The focus is on understanding the uses and limitations of such models, and on interpreting their output in ways that are useful for policy formulation, decision making and management. Practical work is focused on the manipulation and interpretation of climatological data in the context of climatic variability and change, including observational data and model-generated future climate scenarios.
Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but have separate seminars and 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:
- Critically analyse the interactions between the atmosphere and the surface (topography, vegetation, built structures), and apply this understanding in an environmental decision-making context.
- Apply an understanding of synoptic processes and the ability to interpret a range of graphical and visual data to the explanation of weather events and forecasting.
- Analyse and interpret the relationships between large-scale ocean-atmosphere processes and regional-local climates, using simple statistical techniques.
- Synthesise their understanding of climate processes at a range of scales to explain and critique the applications of climate modelling in research and policy contexts.
- Create an original piece of research on a self-selected topic, and communicate their results in oral and written formats.
Assessment will be based on:
- Seminars on topics relevant to course themes (20%; LO 1-5)
- Major research report on a topic relevant to course themes (50%; LO 1-5)
- Presentation on the topic of the research report (10%; LO 1-5)
- Take-home examination (20%; LO 1-4)
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130 hours including up to 60 contact hours in lectures, practicals and workshops/seminars, and self-study time.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Sturman, A.P. and Tapper, N.J. (2006) The Weather and Climate of Australia and New Zealand. Oxford University Press.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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