EAE2111 - Introduction to climate science - 2017

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 Shayne McGregor

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


From the humid tropics to the polar deserts, Earth's diverse

array of climates are the result of complex physical, chemical

and biological processes and their interactions. This unit

provides an introduction to the Earth's climate system and its

operation. Students will gain an appreciation of the climate of

the Earth's surface, sub-surface and upper atmosphere, and

how these vary in space and time. Key processes that regulate

the climate on the global, regional and micro-scale will be

introduced. The natural operation of these processes, and their

operation with human influence, will be examined. Students will

be exposed to the techniques and instrumentation used to

measure and monitor the atmosphere and the real-world

applications for climate monitoring will be described. Practical

experience in meteorological measurement will be gained

through laboratory classes and a weekend field trip.


On completion of the unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Define the concept of 'climate' and describe techniques for classifying climates.
  2. Describe how various elements of the climate system are measured and observed, including the instruments employed, how they operate, and application to real-world climate problems.
  3. Describe how the climate varies on a number of time and space scales. Explain some of the key physical mechanisms and their interactions that cause these variations, and appreciate their complexity.
  4. Know some of the modifications made by humans that can influence the climate and the associated processes by which this occurs.
  5. Communicate complex concepts in climate science to scientific and non-scientific audiences


Examination: 50% + Practical reports: 20% + Major assignment: 20% + Field trip and group presentation: 10%

Workload requirements

Three hours of lectures + one 2-hour practical per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


One of EAE1022, ESC1011, ESC1022, ATS1301


ATS2776 and ATS2779