Ocean and Climate: their role in our future
Level 1 (CQFW Level 4), 10 Credits.
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Global Climate Changes already affect our lives. To plan how best to respond we need to know how the atmosphere/ocean system has already altered, and how it is likely to change. This requires measuring how incoming solar energy is reflected or redistributed, and how this is likely to result in sea level rise, coastal flooding, rainfall changes and impact on human food and water supply.
- The atmosphere: its structure, composition and processes, incoming solar energy, distinction between weather and climate
- The Global Ocean, general structure, currents, heat flow, evaporation and precipitation
- Planetary water budget, the diminishing reservoirs for much of humanity, fluxes, exchanges with the ocean
- Winds: the drivers of waves and currents, air flow, critically important thunderstorm mixing, stratospheric winds
- Thermohaline circulation, ice formation, heat transport through hurricanes and mixing
- The complex marine/atmospheric Carbon Dioxide system, uptake/loss budgets, human inputs, photosynthesis and decay dissolution of carbonate, crustal rock weathering
- Models, how carbon dioxide heats our planet, short-and long-term consequences
- Effects of climate change on phytoplankton and zooplankton, fish, upwelling, and sea fisheries
- Effects on humanity; erosion of coasts and man-made structures, flooding, crops, food and water supply implications
- What should we/must we do? Life-threatening changes are looming but can be countered if approached sensibly using scientific knowledge.
Who is this course for?
This is a course for anyone interested in developing an understanding of the Earth’s oceans.
Learning and Teaching
There will be a mixture of taught sessions and discussions.
Coursework and Assessment
To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.
The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning. Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.
- Pinet, Paul, R. 2003. Invitation to Oceanography, Jones & Bartlett, ISBN 0-7637-2588-9.
- Barry, R. G, Chorley, R. J, “Atmosphere, Weather and Climate” Routledge, London/New York ISBN 0-415-16020-0 (paperback)
- Walker, G. & D. King 2009 “The Hot Topic, How to tackle global warming and still keep the lights on”, Bloomsbury Press, London ISBN 978 0 7475 9630 1
- Open University Course Team, 1995. Ocean Circulation, S330 volume 3, Open University, ISBN 0 08 036369-5.
- William G. van Dorn, 1993 “Oceanography & Seamanship”, Cornell Maritime Press, Centreville, Maryland, USA, ISBN 0-87033-434-4
Library and Computing Facilities
As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University library and computing facilities. You can find out more about these facilities on our website www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn under Student Information, or by ringing the Centre on
(029) 2087 0000.
Accessibility of Courses
Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and Dyslexia screening. Please contact the Centre on (029) 2087 0000 for an information leaflet.
A range of further information can be found on our web site www.cardiff.ac.uk/learn or in Choices. This includes the times and dates of courses and an explanation of accreditation and credit levels.