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Unit information: Future Climates in 2015/16

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Unit name Future Climates
Unit code GEOG30016
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Valdes
Open unit status Not open

There are no pre-requisites but students will be offered a revision lecture in the first week to cover material from GEOG25060 Environmental Change 2 that is relevant, as well as additional reading.


Available to year-three Geography and year- four Geography with Study Aboard/Continental Europe students only.

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit provides an introduction to the science and impacts of climate change. It will review the basic science of climate change, and the methodologies used to make predictions of the future. It will also discuss the impact of these changes on all aspects of society and the resulting adaptation and mitigation challenges. Throughout the course, there will be emphasis on understanding the certainties and uncertainties. The interaction between climate scientists and policy and the media will also be discussed. There will also be an opportunity to analyse climate model outputs to better understand the processes and methods involved.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  1. Analyse the results from climate model simulations;
  2. Give a reasoned account of the causes and uncertainties in future climate change predictions;
  3. Identify robust aspects of climate change science and policy and critically analyse science and policy issues.
  4. Describe the key components of the global Earth System and their interactions.

Teaching details

Lectures and practical sessions

Assessment Details

Final Exam 67% Report 33%

Reading and References

1. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007 Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.) Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

2. The Economics of Climate Change The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

3. There are also numerous books which provide summaries of the above for different backgrounds.