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Unit information: Introduction to Earth System Modelling in 2015/16

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Unit name Introduction to Earth System Modelling
Unit code GEOGM1404
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Andy Ridgwell
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will provide hands-on learning in, and a chance to explore the dynamics of, the Earths climate system as well as of global carbon cycling and the biogeochemical impacts of fossil fuel CO2 emissions. Learning will be facilitated through a mix of interactive seminars, with personal research and literature review and practical work, with a strong emphasis on computer model based practical classes using a real research Earth system model. The cumulative objectives of the Unit will be to develop a deeper understanding of the role and nature of feedbacks in the Earth system and the impacts of current human activities. The Unit will also foster a critical appreciation of the nature and limitations of climate and Earth system modelling in understanding and predicting global change.

Intended Learning Outcomes

 The role and nature of feedbacks in the climate system, and how climate is ‘regulated’.  The relationship between global carbon cycling and climate and associated feedbacks.  The biogeochemical consequences of continuing fossil fuel CO2 emissions.  How to utilize numerical models to address scientific questions and test hypotheses.  The limitations of numerical models of climate and global carbon cycling.

Teaching Information

Seminars & practicals

Assessment Information

Model investigation report (100%): 2500 words max (Nature Article format). The essay will consist of a write-up of a researched extension to one of three computer model exercises carried out in the computer practical sessions.

Reading and References

Kump, L. R., Kasting, J. F., and Crane, R. G. (2004) The Earth System, Prentice Hall ISBN: 0-13- 142059-3.