UWA Handbook 2017

Unit details

ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity

Credit 6 points
  Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2AlbanyMulti-mode
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Biology specialisation in the Environmental Science major sequence
  • Level 2 complementary unit in the Conservation Biology; Marine Science major sequences
  • Category B broadening unit for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Design students
  • Level 2 elective
Content This unit focuses on the concept that climate change can drive the evolution of biological diversity. It aims to explain the atmospheric processes that regulate the Earth's climate; the role of climate change in the evolution of the world's ecosystems; the human-induced changes that are occurring in the atmosphere; how these changes affect the global climate which in turn affects biodiversity; and the challenges of biodiversity conservation under climate change. Emphasis is placed on understanding the links between the atmosphere, climate and the world's ecosystems; how changes in climate can force species losses, migration and adaptation; what can be learned from vegetation response to past climate changes; the predicted impacts to biological diversity under projected greenhouse climates; and the conservation efforts that are required to mitigate these impacts.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) describe the global-scale processes that regulate climate; (2) recall examples of speciation (i.e. the evolution of biological diversity) due to a change in climate; (3) differentiate between climate change over geological time scales (e.g. 20,000 years) and more recent human-induced climate change; (4) evaluate the evidence for human-induced climate change associated with increased emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; (5) assess the relative effects of past and projected climate change on pathogens, plants and animals; (6) list some of the predicted impacts of projected climate change on biodiversity; (7) outline strategies that could be used to manage the impacts of climate change so as to conserve biodiversity; and (8) synthesise information from a variety of sources and present it in both written and verbal formats.
Assessment Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) laboratory tasks; (2) a 1500-word essay; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite standard(s) for the a final examination component of the unit, as specified in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr Pieter Poot
Unit rules
Prerequisites: BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology (formerly BIOL1130 Core Concepts in Biology) or BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology or EART1105 The Dynamic Planet; for pre-2012 courses: any Level 1 BIOL unit or any Level 1 EART unit
Contact hours lectures: 2 hours per week; labs/field trips: up to 3 hours per week
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/ENVT2221/SEM-2/2017

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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