Faculty of Science

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Dr Ailie Gallant


Not offered in 2016


Previously coded GES3890


This unit explores human-induced climate change in the Earth system. The potential impacts on natural and human environments are examined, including interactions and feedbacks on the atmosphere, soils, water, and biota. Processes and cycles of change across geological and historical time scales will be compared to present in order to place the consequences of human actions on climate in context when compared alongside natural variation. Future projections of change will be scrutinised with consideration of the uncertainties in our knowledge of the physical behaviour of the Earth system, and human behaviour. The theory presented in classes will provide relevant information that can be applied to global environmental problems and that will be complemented through the study of real-world examples of climate impacts.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe important physical processes in the climate system, including their interactions and feedbacks, and relate these processes to specific impacts of climate change on natural and human systems;
  2. Objectively scrutinise and distinguish the role of natural and human influences in the climate system;
  3. Describe the construction of climate change projections and appreciate their complexity;
  4. Relate the uncertainties in the knowledge of physical processes and human behaviour to confidence of future climate projections and their associated impacts on natural and human systems;
  5. Undertake independent, in-depth and objective research and effectively communicate their findings.


Oral presentation: 15%
Examination (2 hours): 50%
Research study report: 35%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour practical per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ATS2779 or ATM2020, or by permission of the unit co-ordinator


APG4558, ATM3261