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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2015/2016

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Ecological Science

Undergraduate Course: Land-Atmosphere Interactions (ECSC10014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryAn honours level course in which we seek to address the following questions: (a) What are the important biophysical processes that determine land-atmosphere exchange and how might they influence the wider questions concerning 'Global Change'. (b) How has the present atmosphere evolved through geologic time and what has been the role of the biosphere in this process? (c) How do the atmospheric water, energy and trace gas cycles interact with the land surface?
Course description Example syllabus from 2013/14
Importance of the land surface in global change: Introduction to SVAT models
The Global Carbon Balance; SVAT modelling with SimSphere
Visit to Research Aircraft; Introduction to Intermittent Assessment
Trace gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. I - Theory
Trace gas exchange between soils and the atmosphere. II - Measurements
SVAT models applications
Case Study: Arctic Processes
Case Study: Arctic Responses
Remote sensing of Land-Atmosphere Exchange Processes.
Large scale experiments in land-atmosphere exchange.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Soil, Water and Atmospheric Processes (ECSC08003)
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students will gain a critical appreciation of land-atmosphere interactions at a range of scales from cell to biome.

In this module we aim to discuss in detail the role of the biosphere in the climate system, how land-atmosphere exchange can be measured and what type of data and models are required to evaluate land-atmosphere interaction.

Students will discover how changes made to Earth's surface can have an effect on the atmosphere and vice versa.

Students will use a range of planetary-boundary layer models in practical sessions to simulate land-atmosphere exchange processes and will be expected to offer professional level insights into the results of these models.

Students will produce a research report which will involve analysing a complex problem: testing the sensitivity of a soil-vegetation-atmosphere-transfer model.

Students will identify the relevant outcomes of this and make judgements where data is limited or comes from a range of sources.
Reading List
Before starting the course, you should re-read the relevant chapters on energy balance and surface properties in
OKE, T.R. (1990). Boundary-layer Climates. Routledge, London.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 three-hour lecture per week
KeywordsECSC10014 LAI
Contacts
Course organiserDr John Moncrieff
Tel: (0131 6)50 5402
Email: j.moncrieff@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMs Meredith Corey
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
Email: meredith.corey@ed.ac.uk
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