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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Environmental Courses

Undergraduate Course: Topics in Global Change (ENVI10001)

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 Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA course on hot/current topics in Global Environmental Change. These topics will be introduced by active researchers in the field, read about by all students, using recent articles in the literature, then will form the basis for student seminars and general class discussion.
Course description Staff members will give a brief introduction to a topic, highlighting some of the key issues that remain to be fully resolved. They will provide a list of sub-topics, along with a reading list of papers for each. Students will then volunteer to present a 15-minute presentation on each of the sub-topics (one sub-topic each). Topics will be assigned to the students on the first meeting. Subtopics will be chosen by the students on a first-come-first-serve basis after the introductory lectures so that an even distribution of student talks is achieved and all topics are covered sufficiently. The student seminars will act as the platform for a general class discussion. Students are expected to initiate discussion by asking questions and contribute to the discussion by what they understood by reading the papers. The staff members will fill in where and when necessary.

The topics* include

1. Nature of contemporary/ongoing global warming

2. Recent climate variability: models and reconstructions

3. Discerning natural versus anthropogenic changes

4. Future sealevel rise

5. Stability of ice sheets.

6. Atmospheric changes, rainfall and extreme weather

7. Future climate change predictions

8. Dangerous Climate Change & 2 degree warming.

*topics will change and evolve with time/course team
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 8, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 168 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course Work: 100 %

Course work marks are split as follows:

70% - 3000 Word Essay

30% - Student presentation and class discussion
Feedback Feedback provided on student seminar presentations during the course and in addition students are encouraged to discuss essay topics they choose with lecturer who are experts in that area
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To develop a deeper understanding of the science underpinning Global Environmental Change, the current debates and uncertainities, the limitations in specific knowledge and the methodology used in studying them
  2. To develop the student's skills in self-learning and critical thinking through scientific literature so that they are able to identify and analyse complex problems
  3. To develop the skills to make formal presentation about in a specialised topic to an informed audiences
  4. To critically review and consolidate their understanding through essay writing on a specialised topic and offer professional level insights
Reading List
General Reading: (examples)

IPCC, 2019: Summary for Policymakers. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate[H.-O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, A. Alegría, M. Nicolai, A. Okem, J. Petzold, B. Rama, N.M. Weyer (eds.)].

IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 1535 pp.

Updated list of papers will be provided every year.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Harvesting information from the scientific literature
2. Preparing and delivering a professional presentation and leading an impromptu discussion
3. Writing a critical review consolidating knowledge
KeywordsGlobal Change,Environmental Change,climate change
Course organiserDr Raja Ganeshram
Tel: (0131 6)50 7364
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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