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BSc Geography with International Study / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
Climate Change: Science and Society
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This unit introduces natural and social scientific approaches to understanding anthropogenic climate change and its possible solutions.
It begins by introducing the natural science of climate change, including drivers of change and future projections as well as impacts and risks. It will also introduce the social science of climate change, including the different ways in which it is framed and perceived.
The unit will then introduce different options for tackling climate change, spanning adaptation to climate change impacts, mitigation options for reducing and removing carbon dioxide emissions, and solar geoengineering for reflecting sunlight back into space. It will examine the social and technical dimensions of these, before reflecting on questions of responsibility for tackling climate change.
The unit emphasises the importance of interdisciplinarity in understanding and tackling this complex and uncertain problem, and the spacial place for geography in facilitating this learning.
- To explore the technical and social dimensions of different climate change solutions spanning emissions reductions and removals, adaptation and solar geoengineering.
Contemporaty climate change and policy
Physical science basis I
Physical science basis II
Framing climate change
Risks and perceptions of climate change
Introducing mitigation: Approaches and challenges
Implementing mitigation: Mechanisms, governance and justice
Carbon dioxide removal: Methods and challenges
The promise and perils of solar geoengineering
Responsibility for climate change
Teaching and learning methods
The unit is delivered through weekly two-hour interaction lecture sessions including discussions, debates and practical exercises. The lectures will be supported by weekly one-hour seminars.
Additional reading around the themes of the lectures is expected. Formative feedback will be given during lectures and seminars.
The course is supported by a dedicated Blackboard site.
Knowledge and understanding
- Explain drivers, projections, impacts and risks of climate change
- Explain different framings and perceptions of climate change and societal responses to it
- Synthesise and analyse information about climate change
- Critically reflect on and evaluate different options for tackling climate change
- Plan and execute independent assignments
- Use library, electronic and online resources to research and prepare for assignments
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Gather and synthesise research evidence for scientific and policy audiences
- Use word processing software and the internet to research and prepare written assignments
- Work in team by recognising the views of others and working constructively with them
Group poster A3 20%
Individual POST note-style essay 2000 words 80%
Quizzes on Blackboard Short multiple-choice questions
Group poster: Feedback provided through Blackboard within 3 working weeks.
Individual POST note-style essay: Feedback provided through Blackboard within 3 working weeks.
Quizzes: Correct answers provided at the end of each quiz.
IPCC (2023): Climate Change 2022: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. IPCC: Geneva, CH.
Environmental Research Letters
Environmental Science & Policy
Frontiers in Climate
Global Environmental Change
Public Understanding of Science
Nature Climate Change
Science, Technology and Human Values
WIREs Climate Change
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Rob Bellamy||Unit coordinator|