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Unit information: Quantifying Climate Risks in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Quantifying Climate Risks
Unit code GEOGM0045
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Rachel Flecker
Open unit status Not open



Other mandatory units on MSc Climate Change Science and Policy

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The unit will focus on quantitative evaluation of climate-driven hazards, risk assessment and adaptation policy using a variety of different datasets and methods. These may include high-latitude and polar data that arise from, for example, monitoring and/or modelling sea level rise and the use of remote sensing data or other observation-based datasets to analyse ice loss. The unit will also require students to consider dimensions of exposure and vulnerability in different regions and populations to climate-driven hazards (risk assessment) and to the potential societal opportunities arising from changing conditions (e.g. the opening up of new sea routes from melting ice). This will be then linked to local/regional adaptation policies such as coastal flood management, cultural changes, changes to fishing, managing new access rights, drawn from across the world.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate present and future climate impacts on polar regions using secondary climate data (observations and models)
  2. Develop the quantitative data manipulation skills required to carry out climate impact analysis at regional and global scales
  3. Analyse the relationship between hazard, exposure and vulnerability in climate change risk assessment
  4. Appraise the role of climate change adaptation planning and wider societal implications of climate change in different regions and populations

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • computer practical work; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements

Assessment Information

(50%) Quantitative evaluation of a climate hazard presented as a technical report (ILOs 1-4)

(50%) 2000 word climate change risk assessment that critically evaluates climate risks and adaptation policy for a specific region (ILOs 1-4)

Reading and References