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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5656M Past Global Environmental Systems

15 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Rob Newton
Email: R.J.Newton@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisites

SOEE2145Palaeoeco, Palaeobio & Evo

This module is mutually exclusive with

SOEE3480Past Global Environmental Syst

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

In this module you will understand and interpret the interacting factors that have controlled the Earth's climate and global environments through geological time at times of both crisis and during background states that were fundamentally different to today. You will be able to integrate multidisciplinary data sources (geochemical, geological, palaeontological, modelling) and use them to evaluate the causes of phenomena such as glaciation, mass extinction and intense greenhouse climates. This module is taught in semester 2 through lectures and paper practicals and is assessed by an examination.***The module will be offered subject to sufficient student interest***

Objectives

On completion of this module, you should be able to understand and interpret the interacting factors that have controlled the Earth's climate and global environments through geological time at times of both crisis and during background states that were fundamentally different to today.

You will be able to integrate multidisciplinary data sources (geochemical, geological, palaeontological) with the results from palaeoclimate models and use them to evaluate the causes of phenomena such as glaciation, mass extinction and intense greenhouse climates.

Learning outcomes
An understanding of the range of approaches and proxies used to evaluate the palaeo-environmental conditions at the Earth’s surface.
Specific knowledge of a range of case studies which highlight different controls on the evolution of Earth surface environments at a number of key points in Earth’s history.
Experience of applying an Earth system model to a choice of case studies and interpreting the resulting data in the light of geological evidence.


Syllabus

1. The climate system
2. Proxies for palaeoenvironment
3. Modelling approaches to palaeoenvironments
4. The Precambrian oxidation of Earth’s surface environments and Snowball Earth
5. The end-Permian mass extinction
6. The early Triassic recovery
7. CO2 control of climate in the Cenozoic
8. Gateway control of climate in the Cenozoic
9. Orbital control on climate
10. Rapid climate change in the Quaternary and course wrap-up

These lectures will be partnered with 5 hours of computer practical’s to learn setting up and running an Earth system model.
Note that the module description is flexible enough that the exact mix of case studies can change easily to allow for contributions by other staff in future years.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning120.000.00
Lecture101.5015.00
Practical11.001.00
Practical22.004.00
Private study hours130.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

20 hours group poster preparation
3 hours preparatory reading per lecture
35 hours revision
20 hours computer model development
25 hours writing report on computer modelling

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Group posters
Interaction in modelling class

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Poster PresentationIn Groups (10%)10.00
ProjectProject Report 2,000 Words (46.67%)46.70
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)56.70

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins43.30
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)43.30

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 15/05/2017

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