Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
The Atmosphere and the Water Cycle
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 1 x 2 Hour Practical
Lecture 22 x 1 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Multiple-choice written paper, computer marked  100%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Multiple-choice written paper, computer marked  100%

Learning Outcomes

On succesful completion of this module, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of :-

  • the fundamental processes of exchange within the earth-atmosphere system
  • issues of global warming and changing water resource patterns
  • the role of the oceans in the earth-atmosphere system
  • an historical perspective on changes in climate and use this knowledge to assess future global change


The module aims to impart an understanding of the processes that generate and control weather and climate, and of the water cycle through ocean, atmosphere and land phases.

Brief description

The Atmosphere and the Water Cycle provides the basic framework for understanding and investigating the earth-atmosphere system, the dynamics of global change and its implications for life on earth. This module aims to provide an integrated introductory knowledge of the physical interactions between terrestrial, marine and atmospheric systems.

The following themes will be covered:

  • Solar radiation and atmospheric energy
  • Global heat budget
  • Evaporation processes
  • Cloud formation and precipitation
  • Basics of atmospheric circulation
  • Patterns of atmospheric circulation in tropics and mid-latitudes
  • Storms in the tropics and mid-latitudes
  • How atmospheric circulation influences global climate (inc El Nino)
  • Historical and Quaternary records of past climate
  • The Hydrological Cycle
  • Global run-off
  • The cryosphere
  • Global water resources
  • The SimSphere model: an introduction, practical and mock exam
  • Human impacts on the water cycle I
  • Human impacts on the water cycle II
  • Water quality and pollution I
  • Water quality and pollution II
  • Revision


This module is at CQFW Level 4