91540 Climate Change & Ecological Modelling
Climate change and climate variability have significant impacts on natural and social systems of vegetation, water and industry. Modelling of environmental systems, including climate, provides means for prediction of climate regimes, evaluation of possible impacts of climatic change and optimisation of natural resources management in climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies.
This subject aims to develop students' knowledge of climate change science, techniques of data analysis and process simulation, which enhances their ability to evaluate and use a range of models and model frameworks to understand and research specific environmental issues.
This subject introduces students to modelling of environmental systems and, in particular, the principles associated with developing and using climate and ecological models. The physical basis of the climate system is introduced and factors affecting climatic change are addressed. Students build their knowledge of the physical aspects of the climate system as well as associated biogeochemical cycles (carbon and nitrogen cycling) and ecohydrology. The subject presents the concept of systems science and basic mathematical modelling techniques suited to environmental processes. Topics covered include: climate sensitivity; model evaluation; simulation of plant photosynthesis; ecosystem production; carbon cycle and carbon sequestration; water resources; and land surface processes. Through project-based work, students become familiar with relevant software and representative models.
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