CLIMT101-21A (HAM)

Introduction to Climate Change Science

15 Points

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Division of Health Engineering Computing & Science
School of Science

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Paper Description

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An overview of the scientific basis of climate change with an emphasis on understanding climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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Paper Structure

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This paper is taught through a combination of pre-recorded mini-lectures and a series of interactive workshops. Students will learn the fundamental concepts of climate change science through the mini-lectures and then apply this knowledge in the weekly problem-based learning workshops. Each workshop is assessed and hence it is critical that students watch the relevant mini-lectures before attending the workshops.

At the beginning of the trimester, students will select whether they will attend one of the on-campus workshop streams or one of the online workshop streams (via Zoom). Unless there are exceptional circumstances, students must attend the same workshop stream throughout the trimester.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Describe what is meant by climate change, and summarise the main human influences on climate
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe in general terms the composition, circulation and mixing of: air within Earth's atmosphere; an water within its oceans
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Define the term radiative forcing and use it to describe radiative balance and the greenhouse effect
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • List different greenhouse gases and identify their major sources and sinks, abundances, lifetimes, and significance for radiative forcing, including the factors that affect the global warming potential (GWP) of a given molecule
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe in general terms how global climate models are constructed and discuss the strengths and limitations of predicting future climate change using climate models
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe the biogeochemical cycle of carbon, including the chemistry of fossil fuels and the process of ocean acidification
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discuss the impacts, adaptations and vulnerabilities of a changing climate on the biosphere, including on biodiversity, and agricultural food and fibre production
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Describe current generation and use of energy by people, and summarize alternative sources of energy and their advantages and disadvantages in terms of greenhouse gas emissions
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Discuss New Zealand-specific challenges for energy generation and greenhouse gas emissions
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Climate change survey
5 Mar 2021
6:00 PM
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Workshop 1: My carbon footprint
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Workshop 2: How do we know that our climate is changing?
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Workshop 3: Our emissions
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Workshop 4: Predicting future climate change
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
6. Test 1: Fundamentals of climate change science
8 Apr 2021
6:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
7. Workshop 5: Decision-making to adapt to sea-level rise
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
8. Workshop 6: Impacts of climate change for indigenous flora and fauna
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
9. Workshop 7: What climate change means for agriculture
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
10. Workshop 8: The health and wealth of our coasts and oceans
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
11. Workshop 9: Energy generation, use and storage in Aotearoa
5
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
12. Workshop 10: Mitigation and geoengineering options
10
  • Presentation: In Class
13. Test 2: Climate change effects, adaptation and mitigation
8 Jun 2021
6:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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There are no required readings for this paper. All resources will be provided through Moodle.
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Online Support

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This paper has a Moodle page (http://elearn.waikato.ac.nz) where you will be able to access the mini-lecture recordings and the assessment materials.

PLEASE NOTE: Moodle will be used for class notices etc and it is your responsibility to check the site regularly. Instructions provided on Moodle are considered to be given to the class as a whole.

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Workload

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The total workload expected for this paper is 150 hours. There are 32 mini-lectures for students to watch and 20 hours of contact time scheduled for workshops. The remaining hours are to be managed by the student to complete the assessment components of the workshops and to study for the two tests.

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