ENVT2220 The Climate System

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 complementary unit in the Geographical Sciences major sequence
  • Level 2 complementary unit in the Earth specialisation in the Environmental Science major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit are Life and Health Sciences, Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit investigates the physical basis of the climate system and mechanisms of anthropogenic climate change and variability. Importance is placed on the role of the land surface in the climate system including the carbon cycle, land use change and urbanisation. Processes such as the greenhouse effect, aerosols, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, climate feedbacks and rapid climate change are examined. Paleo, historical and climate model data are presented and assessed. Likely future climate changes are addressed and option for adaptation and mitigation for human society.
Students are able to (1) know the physical basis of the climate system and mechanisms of anthropogenic climate change and variability; (2) interpret land surface data from measurement of key Australian ecosystems; (3) understand the changes in climate over the past, present and future; (4) communicate climate change and appreciate skepticism; and (5) synthesise the physical understanding of the climate system and feedbacks witihin.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a research report based on interpreting land surface data from measurement of key Australian ecosystems; (2) practical exercises; and (3) final examination. Further information is available 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)
Professor Jason Beringer
Unit rules
none; for pre-2012 courses: none
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; practicals/tutorials: 2 hours per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

Online material including IPCC report.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.