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  3. Climate Modelling and Climate Change

Climate Modelling and Climate Change (ERTH90026)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeERTH90026
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject describes the physics of the climate system, and how the system is represented in numerical models.

Key aspects include -

  • Radiation balance and heat balance of the earth
  • Carbon dioxide, water vapour and other Greenhouse Gas absorption spectra
  • Other key climate drivers including solar variability, aerosols and clouds
  • The global carbon cycle including fossil fuel emissions
  • Impacts of climate change including sea level rise and extreme events

It covers aspects of uncertainty and chaos to understand why climate models are imperfect but invaluable tools. Students will build a simple climate model and run numerical experiments with different greenhouse gases. The subject will also briefly discuss the processes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNCCC) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in particular how the scientific consensus of the IPCC assessment reports is reached.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students will be able to -

  • Debate the reality of climate change in both a qualitative and quantitative manner
  • Develop simplified climate models and make projections of future climate change
  • Assess different climate models currently in use, including quantification of uncertainty and its implications for future projections

Generic skills

  • The ability to communicate effectively with the community at large
  • Understanding of the social, cultural, global and environmental responsibilities of a professional, and the need for sustainable development

Last updated: 11 January 2018