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School of Environment, Education and Development

Student of environmental monitoring and modelling at The University of Manchester
MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction
Develop your environmental fieldwork skills, data handling and analysis at master's level.

MSc Environmental Monitoring, Modelling and Reconstruction / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Living with Climate Change

Unit code EART61451
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

  Climate system components & Earth's greenhouse effect

  • Scientific evidence for anthropogenic induced changing climate and media treatment of the information.

Predicting the future: Can non-human species adapt to climate change?

  • Shifting biomes and species migration; range shifts, phenotypic plasticity, evolution, ecosystem level responses – effects on species competition.

Impact of climate change on aquatic ecosystems

  • Direct impacts on hydrology and ecology of freshwaters; indirect effects on eutrophication and pollutant mobilisation and behaviour; impact of ocean acidification; temperature-induced shifts in marine populations, reefs and communities.

Impact of climate change on terrestrial animals

  • Tropical case study of direct (e.g. temperature, UV-B) and indirect (e.g. pathogen epidemiology) effects of climate change on amphibians populations.

Food security: capability of agriculture to deal with climate change

  • Challenges for food security & sustainability, impacts on the development, yield and quality of crops; adaptation, management and breeding.

Climate change mitigation:

  • How to mitigate the effects of climate change brought about by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO2. Biological strategies for carbon sequestration, including storage of carbon in soil.

Aims

Anthropogenic global climate change presents a wide range of impacts and challenges for the organisms that live on this earth. This unit will explore the challenges and uncertainties climate change presents in terms of its potential impacts on terrestrial, aquatic and urban environments. Students will develop the ability to gather and process information from a wide range of sources, such as scientific papers, websites & the media, in the field of climate change. This unit will encourage independent thinking and an analytical approach to this environmental issue of global importance.

Learning outcomes

Students will be able to:

·         Describe how a rapidly changing climate can affect individual organisms, populations and ecosystems and assess the possibilities and potentials of adaptation.

·         Critically appraise and discuss research literature regarding contemporary and controversial issues related to impacts of climate change on living systems.

·         Understand the impact of climate change on crop production, food security and soil processes.

·         Understand the impact of climate change on aquatic ecosystems and terrestrial animals.

·         Critically appraise the media representation of climate change science

Syllabus

Climate system components & Earth's greenhouse effect

  • Scientific evidence for anthropogenic induced changing climate and media treatment of the information.

Predicting the future: Can non-human species adapt to climate change?

  • Shifting biomes and species migration; range shifts, phenotypic plasticity, evolution, ecosystem level responses – effects on species competition.

Impact of climate change on aquatic ecosystems

  • Direct impacts on hydrology and ecology of freshwaters; indirect effects on eutrophication and pollutant mobilisation and behaviour; impact of ocean acidification; temperature-induced shifts in marine populations, reefs and communities.

Impact of climate change on terrestrial animals

  • Tropical case study of direct (e.g. temperature, UV-B) and indirect (e.g. pathogen epidemiology) effects of climate change on amphibians populations.

Food security: capability of agriculture to deal with climate change

  • Challenges for food security & sustainability, impacts on the development, yield and quality of crops; adaptation, management and breeding.

Climate change mitigation:

  • How to mitigate the effects of climate change brought about by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO2. Biological strategies for carbon sequestration, including storage of carbon in soil.

Teaching and learning methods

Course material will be divided into six broad themes, each theme will covered by 2 lectures and 1 seminar. Seminars will take the form of informal group discussions and/or presentations of scientific paper(s). Journal papers and internet sources will be used to illustrate the topic themes. Web based Interactive resources on climate change with self-directed quizzes will also be available.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Critically analyse research in the field.
Group/team working
Work in groups during seminars.
Innovation/creativity
During seminars have to use knowledge to propose new ideas for solving issues e.g, food security.
Oral communication
Students give presentations in teams during seminars
Research
Need to do background research for written coursework and e-portfolio
Written communication
Write up `research behind the story┬┐ analysis.

Assessment methods

  • Individual Livebinder eportfolio containing information and own critical analysis of range of resources on a relevant topic - 10%
  • Individual written thesis on a topic based on one of the themes of the unit - 40% - 12 pages
  • Exam at end of semester - 50% - 1 out of 5 questions, 1 hour long

Feedback methods

  • Written feedback on Livebinder eportfolio coursework
  • Formative feedback in class during seminars via discussions and/or verbal feedback on presentations
  • Written feedback on thesis

Recommended reading

  • Mainly case study and research literature based course.
  • Recommended reading: Climate Change Biology. Newman et al 2011

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 0

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Amanda Bamford Unit coordinator

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