EAE2111 - Introduction to climate science - 2018

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Shayne McGregor


Dr Shayne McGregor

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (On-campus)


One of EAE1022, ESC1011, ESC1022, ATS1301


ATS2776 and ATS2779


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 experience.


On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. Define the concept of 'climate' and key processes that regulate the climate on the global, regional and micro-scales;
  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 (2 hours): 40%

Practical reports: 25%

Major assignment: 20%

Field trip and group presentation: 15%

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

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