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Semester 1

Global Environmental Change- Foundations (EASC09056)

Subject

Earth Science

College

SCE

Credits

20

Normal Year Taken

3

Delivery Session Year

2022/2023

Pre-requisites

Course Summary

This course presents an integrated approach to the processes that have driven environmental changes at various time scales during the Quaternary period. Discussed are the interactions between the oceans, ice sheets and continents and the way in which climate change drives/affects Earth surface processes. The archives that preserve records of environmental change on Earth on time scales of millions of years to decades are examined. Causes for environmental change through time are scrutinized in a global context. In addition to covering the general change in Earth s climate over a longer period, there as a focus on the last glaciation and the transition into the modern Holocene climate. The causes for environmental change will be studied from a marine and a continental perspective. Also, a computer simulation component will highlight the processes having driven past climate change in addition to assessing future climate states. Computer based practical sessions are an important part of the course and introduce techniques used in retrieving information on, and reconstructing, past environments from environmental archives (e.g. sediments, corals) and comparing data from different settings. As part of the practical sessions, transferable skills will be strengthened/generated. These include advanced graphic techniques, basic Excel/OpenOffice programming, training in text structuring, advanced text formatting techniques. Intense support during the practical classes is part of the course. Further Course Informationhttps://path.is.ed.ac.uk/courses/EASC09056_SV1_SEM1http://www.drps.ed.ac.uk/20-21/dpt/cxeasc09056.htm

Course Description

SyllabusLecture and Practical suite of the course: Wk1: Day 1: L1 Introduction to the Quaternary L2 Long-term climate change: Uniqueness of the Quaternary within the last 60 million years Day2: L3 Nature of Pleistocene climate cycles1 P1 Interpretation of time-series spectral analysis 1. P1 Deadline: 1.00pm, Monday week 3 Wk2: Day 1: P2 Interpretation of time-series spectral analysis 2 Day 2: L4 Nature of Pleistocene climate cycles 2 L5 What drives glacial-interglacial climate change?P2 Deadline: 1pm, Monday week 4 Wk3: Day 1: P3 Retrieving environmental information from O-isotope curves 1 Day 2: L6: Sea Level change: Past and Future P4: Retrieving environmental information from O-isotope curves 2 (in course feedback session)P3 Deadline: 1.00pm, Monday week 5 Wk4: Day 1: L7 Rapid Climate Change: The Millennial Scale Record 1 Day 2: L8: Rapid Climate Change: The Millennial Scale Record 2 L9: Variability in Tropical climate: Monsoon, rainfall and gasesP4 Deadline: 1.00pm, Monday week 6 Wk5: Day 1: P5 Climate change and Sapropels Day 2: L10 Dating records of climate change (1) L11: Dating records of climate change (2)P5 Deadline: 1.00pm, Monday week 7 Wk6: Day 1: P6 Synchronizing climate records across the hemispheres Day 2: P7 Synchronizing climate records across the hemispheresP6 Deadline: 4.00pm, Friday week 11. Wk7: Day 1: P8 Synchronizing climate records across the hemispheres L12 Rapid Climate Change: the Century to Decadal Scale record followed by Introduction to Article writing Day 2: P9 Article writing exercise 1 Wk8: Day 1: P10 Article writing exercise 2 (feedback and help) Day 2: L14 Holocene Climate Change 1 L15 Holocene Climate Change 2 Wk9: Day 1: P11 Article writing exercise 3 (feedback and help) Day 2: L17 Computer simulations, principles/ Article writing feedback Wk10: Day 1: L18/19 Computer simulations and climate change through time Day 2: L20 Climate and hominid evolution: Droughts and trade winds

Assessment Information

Written Exam 50%, Coursework 50%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

Assessment DetailsCoursework: 50% - based on 3 assessed practicals (P1, sessions 1-2: 10%, P4, session 6: 15%, and P6, sessions 10-12: 25%)Exam: 50%https://www.ed.ac.uk/timetabling-examinations/exams/regulations/common-marking-scheme Assessment Deadlines- Practical 1 (sessions 1-2): Interpretation of time-series spectral analysis (10%) - Monday Week 3- Practical 2 (sessions 3-4): Retrieving environmental information from O-isotope curves (Formative) - Monday Week 4- Practical 3 (session 5) : Sea level change (Formative) - Monday Week 5- Practical 4 (session 6) : Climate change and Sapropels (15%) - Monday Week 6- Practical 5 (session 7-9): Synchronizing climate records across the hemispheres (formative) - Thursday Week 7- Practical 6 (sessions 10-12): Article writing exercise (25%) - Friday Week 11

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