GEOG 2142 - Climate Change

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

Climate change is the greatest challenge for humanity in the 21st century and is particularly compelling for Australia. This course addresses this issue with reference to Australian and international case studies. In order to understand current global climate change, the course examines the record of historic and prehistoric climate before considering the scientific prognosis for climate change as summarised in the scientific reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The impacts of climate change on both society and the physical environment are then considered. The course will explore options to mitigate, and adapt to, the impacts of climate change. In particular, there will be an intensive examination of how climate change and its impacts on the environment can be managed.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GEOG 2142
    Course Climate Change
    Coordinating Unit Geography, Environment and Population
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of level 1 undergraduate study
    Incompatible GEST 2042, GEST 2026 or GEST 3026
    Course Description Climate change is the greatest challenge for humanity in the 21st century and is particularly compelling for Australia. This course addresses this issue with reference to Australian and international case studies. In order to understand current global climate change, the course examines the record of historic and prehistoric climate before considering the scientific prognosis for climate change as summarised in the scientific reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The impacts of climate change on both society and the physical environment are then considered. The course will explore options to mitigate, and adapt to, the impacts of climate change. In particular, there will be an intensive examination of how climate change and its impacts on the environment can be managed.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor John Tibby

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. An understanding of climate and climate change processes at local to global scales
    2. An understanding of the policy framework in which environmental decisions are made in Australia
    3. Interdisciplinary problem-solving skills
    4. High quality written and verbal communication skills
    5. Ability to undertake data manipulation and interpretation
    6. Ability to work effectively in a team environment




    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    2, 3
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    4, 6
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    3, 4, 5, 6
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources


    Although
    there is no prescribed text for this course, the following are highly recommended.  The first three excellent resources are
    available online.

     

    Cleugh, H.,
    Stafford Smith, M., Battaglia, M. and Graham, P. (2011). Climate change. Science and solutions for Australia. CSIRO
    Publishing, Collingwood.

    This book
    is available online at:  http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6558.htm

     

    CSIRO and Bureau of
    Meteorology 2015, Climate Change in Australia Information for Australia’s
    Natural Resource Management Regions: Technical Report, CSIRO and Bureau of
    Meteorology, Australia http://www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au/en/publications-library/technical-report/

     

    Steffen, W. and Hughes, L. (2011). The Critical
    Decade 2013: Climate change science, risks and response

    Department of
    Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

    Available at:
    http://climatecommission.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/The-Critical-Decade_July-revision_Low-res.pdf

     

    Pittock,
    A.B. (2009). Climate change: the science,
    impacts and solutions. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

     

    Pittock
    (2009), and to a lesser extent Cleugh et al. (2011), provide a quite
    descriptive account of the science of climate change and its impacts.  Hence, they should be read in conjunction
    with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report
    (IPCC 2007)

     

    One other particularly useful book is:

     

    Richardson,
    K., Steffen, W. and Liverman, D. (2011). 
    Climate Change: Global risks,
    challenges and decisions. Cambridge University Press.

    Recommended Resources
    Recommended reading for each lecture will be provided via MyUni

    There is a wealth of published material relevant to the course. For example, there
    are over 100,000 individual publications in the Scopus database on “climate
    change”. Despite this wealth of information, there is no single text book
    that adequately summarises the key components of the course. Hence, a key
    challenge is to focus on that which is most relevant and up to date (which, for
    the most part, appears in journals and on the internet before it does in
    books).

     

    A list of lecture and tutorial reading will be made available on MyUni.

     

    The use of the Scopus
    database to locate relevant academic publications on climate change is highly
    recommended.  Note that you can
    access Scopus from the Quicklinks on the Library’s website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/library/

     

    Glossaries

    Terms used in the climate change literature have specific meanings
    different to those used in everyday life. 
    Examples include “mitigation”, “adaptation” and “commitment”.  Hence, it is important to understand these
    the academic use of such terms.  A useful
    glossary of terms can be found at:

    http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/climate-change/glossary.asp

    Online Learning

    MyUni will be used for course-related announcements.  

    Additional course-related material will be made available through MyUni.  These materials include:

    1.       Lecture recordings and lecture summaries.  These will be posted after the lectures.

    2.       Essay questions and suggested reference sources.

    3.       The Geography, Environment and Population essay writing guide.

    4.       Information on the use of turnitin.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are a number of teaching and learning modes in this course. The course lectures provide basic factual information and concepts about  climate change.  The tutorials provide an opportunity to discuss in  detail specific themes more fully, while others will be more practical  and you will have an opportunity to explore climate data and climate projections.  In the week 6-8 tutorials, you will be asked to develop and present your assessment of the preparedness of South Australian institutions for climate change.   The short essay provides an opportunity to explore the specific appropriateness of the risk analysis undertaken by Australian agencies.   Importantly, this formative piece of assessment permits an assessment of your progress and understanding while only being worth a relatively small proportion of your mark. The long essay is an opportunity for more in depth investigation of key topics. Finally, the exam will assess the extent to which students have developed their understanding through the course. The will be a specific question on the exam related to the material delivered in tutorial weeks 6-8.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    ·        Structured learning (lectures and tutorials): 3 hours per week

    ·        Background reading and reading for specific tutorials: 4 hours per week

    ·        Essay research and preparation: 3 hours per week (average)

    ·        Exam revision: 2 hours per week (average)

    Learning Activities Summary
    Schedule
    Week 1 Scale and uncertainty in climate change management
    Week 2 “What, when and how?” Global climate change projections:
    Week 3 Historic and “pre-historic” global climate 
    Week 4 Climate projections for Australia
    Week 5 Climate change and water management: the Murray-Darling Basin
    Week 6 Climate change risk and vulnerability
    Week 7 Social learning and climate change
    Week 8  The politics of climate change

    Week 9 Reflexivity and the second modernity
    Week 10 Global change and the oceans
    Week 11 Carbon accounting and trading
    Week 12 Responses to climate sceptics










    Specific Course Requirements
    n/a
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    In weeks 6-8 students develop a round table discussion of a local or regional scale climate change issue.  Students work in group sizes of no more than 6 students to: decide on a topic (with guidance from staff), divide research tasks and organisate a presentation to the whole tutorial/workshop group. This SGDE mimics the type of approaches undertaken by Natural Resource
    Management agencies in South Australia in particular and across the nation.  Students are explicitly assessed on this work in the exam, but are provided feedback on their ungraded presentations immediately.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Short essay Formative 20% 1,2,3,4
    Long essay Formative 40% 1,2,3,4
    Exam Summative 20% 1,2,3,4
    Assessment Detail
    Short essay: Should be no more than 1000 words (including in text references but not the reference list) and follow the guidelines set out in the essay writing guide on MyUni.

    Long essay: This should be no more than 3000 words (including in text references but not the reference list).

    Exam:  The exam will have 2 hours writing time. Example exam questions will be posted on MyUni after mid-semester break and the
    exam will be discussed in the final lecture and tutorial.

    Submission
    Submission of essays will be required through turnitin.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.