UCL Department of Geography
GEOGG130 Climate Dynamics
  
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GEOGG130 Climate Dynamics

CORE GEOGG130 - Climate Dynamics
(15 credits)

Term 1 (2013)

Staff: Chris Brierley

Aim:

To introduce the students to the physical basis of climate change.

Content:

The module will cover:

  • The global energy budget.
  • Mechanisms of poleward heat transport.
  • Fundamental interactions between atmosphere and ocean.
  • The major modes of climate variability
  • The role of atmospheric greenhouse gases.
  • The effects of increased greenhouse emissions due to human activity.
  • The changes in both regional and global climate due to other human activities.
  • Discussions of “hot topics” in climate change: extreme events; the reliability and communication of climate science; national and global policies to limit emissions and geoengineering; the creation of observed climate fields.

Assessment:

A written report on an independent analysis of climate data (70%) and a 1000 word essay (30%)

Format:

The module is based on lectures, class discussion and computer practicals.

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of the module, students should:

  • be able to describe the broad features of the Earth’s climate.
  • have an appreciation for the complexity of feedbacks between the different elements of the climate system.
  • have an understanding of the different forcing factors that influence climate over a range of time-scales.
  • have an appreciation of the complexity of modelling future climate change.
  • have an awareness of the difficulties in predicting future impacts of climate change.
  • be able to investigate climate relationships from original data sources.