This module aims to provide students with an insight into atmosphere and ocean science, and builds on previous modules covering Climate Change, Ecosystem Processes and Environmental Geochemistry. It will explore in detail the physical and chemical aspects of oceans and atmospheres and focus on key issues of concern, such as ocean acidification, urban air quality and El Nino Southern Oscillation. The lectures will be complemented by lab and PC practicals, examples classes and a field trip to gain experience of how air quality is managed by local authorities. The material in this module will focus heavily on topical research in the two areas and also, the interface between them.
Module learning outcomes
By the end of this module students should:
have in depth knowledge of the structure and composition of the atmosphere and oceans, and their biological, physical and chemical controls
understand and be able to employ mathematical descriptors of atmospheric and ocean dynamics
have an awareness of current research and developments in atmospheric and ocean science
design experiments to explore key concepts in ocean science and present your findings succinctly as an oral presentation
be able to critically analyse current research papers (in ocean or atmospheric science)
Generic / Employability Skills:
improved knowledge and understanding of the Earths system
introduction to the environmental division of a local council
experience of independently designing and performing laboratory experiments
confidence in using mathematical equations to describe environmental processes
Much of the course reading will be research papers, which will be identified as we go through the lectures.
For the atmospheric part of the course, no books cover the whole course content, but those listed below are useful for different aspects of the course. In terms of air quality management (for those considering a future in this area), the book by Jacobson is probably the most useful.
M. Jacobson (2002), Atmospheric Pollution, Cambridge.
R.G. Barry and R.J. Chorley (2009), Atmosphere, weather and climate (8th edition), Routledge
R. Harrison (2006), An Introduction to Pollution Science, Chapter 2, RSC Publishing, offers an excellent overview of the course. Chapter 6 provides further information on health issues.
The following texts could be of use in helping you to understand basic principles in physical, chemical and biological oceanography.
A. Trujillo and H. Thurman, (2013), Essentials of Oceanography, Prentice Hall
A. R. Duxbury, A. C. Duxbury and K. A. Sverdrup, (2002) Fundamentals of Oceanography, McGraw Hill
L. D. Talley, G. L. Pickard, W. J. Emery and J. H. Swift (2012) Descriptive Physical Oceanography, Elsevier
G. Bigg, (2003) The Oceans and Climate, Cambridge
S. M. Libes, (2009) Introduction to Marine Biogeochemistry, Academic Press
You will also be expected to read the relevant sections of The Physical Science Basis chapter of the 2013 (AR5) IPCC report for some aspects of the course (available at http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5/wg1/).