EAE3132 - Future climates: Projections, impacts and adaptation - 2019

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)

Associate Professor Julie Arblaster


Associate Professor Julie Arblaster

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


One of ATM2030, ATS2020Not offered in 2019, ATS2776, EAE2011, EAE2111, EAE2122, EAE2322, EAE2511 ESC2122

Permission by the unit coordinator is required for students in S6002 who are undertaking the Environmental Security (Science) specialisation.


ATS2779, ATS3558


In this unit physical science of climate change processes will be briefly reviewed, followed by a focus on future climate, including discussions of climate models, projections, and impact scenarios. The unit will then discuss observed climate trends, including extremes, and associated impacts on the biophysical environment now and in the future (with a particular emphasis on urban environments). The second part of the unit provides a brief overview of the international policy frameworks for dealing with climate change and global and local mitigation responses. Finally, recognising that some degree of climate change is inevitable, the unit discusses climate change adaptation across various sectors, with a focus on urban climate adaptation.


On completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the basic physics of climate change, the key leverage points for earth's climate, both natural and anthropogenic.
  2. Discuss global carbon cycle, the critical roles of the oceans and biosphere, and the overriding impact of human perturbation on the natural controls on atmospheric CO2.
  3. Recognise the roles of climate change and natural variability in current climate trends.
  4. Explain the operation of climate models, their strengths, weaknesses and uncertainties, and the development of projections.
  5. Describe the fundamental approaches to climate change mitigation along with a basic understanding of international policy on climate change including successes and failures.
  6. Explain how both mitigation and adaptation are required to deal adequately with climate change.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Examination (2 hours): 50%

Continuous assessment (practical reports, assignments and presentations): 40%

One mid-term test: 10%

Workload requirements

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

See also Unit timetable information

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