The chemical and photochemical processes that occur in the atmosphere at different altitudes have profound and fundamental effects on life. An understanding of the societal implications that may result from natural as well as anthropogenic perturbations of atmospheric processes is essential for the formulation and evaluation of mitigation actions.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- an overview of predictions of the effect of changes in atmospheric processes on climate
- a good understanding of the search for biosignatures in exoplanet atmospheres
- a critical appreciation of the ethical issues and likely societal impacts that stem from different actions aimed at mitigating climate change and atmospheric pollution
- a broad overview of the evolution and composition of earth’s atmosphere
- an overview of tour current understanding of the health effects of atmospheric pollution
- a broad overview of the coupling between large scale circulation/transport and chemical processes
- a sound understanding of cyclic chemical processes in different parts of the atmosphere (troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere)
- a good understanding of the methods used to detect and quantify atmospheric gases and particulates
- critical analysis skills in the application of chemical principles to explain concepts such as climate change and global warming
- a good knowledge of photochemical and chemical reactions of atmospheric importance
- a good understanding of the principles of chemical kinetics
- strategies for acquiring, collating, interpreting, evaluating and presenting complex technical information from cutting-edge research publications
- a broad understanding of the effect of anthropogenic chemical species on atmospheric processes
The philosophy underlying this module is to empower students to take charge of their own learning in the area of climate change and atmospheric science. As a consequence the course will make extensive use of directed and peer-assisted self-learning methods.
This module will be delivered within the context of three linked focus areas:
Composition & fundamental chemical processes Topics include: evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere; composition of troposphere, and to a lesser degree, the stratosphere and mesosphere; cyclic chemical processes (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur cycles); ozone; catalytic cycles; methods for detecting and quantifying gaseous and particulate components of atmospheres, detecting biogenic signatures in exoplanets.
Health effects of atmospheric pollution anthropogenic sources of atmospheric pollution; anthropogenic chemical species in the troposphere. particulates and aerosols as atmospheric pollutants. Topics include: methods of detecting and quantifying particulate pollution, evidence of health impacts of atmospheric pollution, tentative mechanisms for pathologies resulting from atmospheric pollution.
Chemical and particulate atmospheric pollution in urban environments Topics include: sources and quantification of atmospheric pollutants in an urban environment, spatial and temporal (seasonal, diurnal) variations in atmospheric species (gaseous and particulates), atmospheric pollutant loads in port cities.
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The module will consist of a small number of ‘traditional' lectures, which will be used to deliver some of the key background knowledge in areas such as basic chemical kinetics, qualitative/descriptive aerial dispersal mechanisms, etc. These lectures will provide the framework for a series of interactive sessions that involve directed self-learning activities, several group-work activities, presentation and discussion sessions as well as workshops. It is likely that the course will end with a 1-day symposium organised by the teaching staff and the students at which they present the results of their final assignment.
|Wider reading or practice||22|
|Supervised time in studio/workshop||20|
|Practical classes and workshops||20|
|Completion of assessment task||40|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||10|
|Total study time||150|
Resources & Reading list
A comprehensive resource pack is provided on Blackboard at the beginning of the course..
The performance of the students will be assessed through:
- individual and group presentations
- written assignments
Students will be assessed for:
- overall understanding of the application of key concepts in atmospheric science
- understanding and critical analysis of the primary literature
- ability to apply knowledge and understanding to real-world contexts
This is how we’ll give you feedback as you are learning. It is not a formal test or exam.Workshop activities
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External