Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Climate Change: Impacts, Perceptions, Adaptations
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Computer-based (online) unseen examination, designed through Questionmark Perception (QMP). Questions will be varied and will involve multiple choice questions based around text, graphical or numerical information.  100%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Resit failed computer-based online examination  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Outline the historical, physical and human (social, political) context for the current climate change debate, and describe the likely regional and global differences in the impact of predicted climate changes;
  2. Critically evaluate different representations of the climate change debate (e.g. in scientific and popular media);
  3. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of different proposed approaches for adapting to predicted future climate changes.

Brief description

This module is designed to provide students with a factual and conceptual understanding of some of the major geographical issues that form part of the 'climate change debate'. The module explicitly considers both the physical and social/political dimensions of the debate, placing particular emphasis on 'global warming'.


Overview of lecture topics:

1) Climate change: impacts (6 hours)
  • Background to the history and emergence of the 'climate change debate' and positioning of Geography as a discipline within this;
  • Physical background to the climate change debate;
  • The science of global warming (e.g. approaches to modelling and uncertainty representation);
  • Global warming impacts on different earth system spheres (e.g. atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, biosphere) and different global regions, especially in relation to geohazards and biodiversity.
2) Climate change: perceptions (8 hours)
  • Social/political background to the climate change debate and the emergence of climate change debate on the political agenda;
  • Scientific perceptions and representations of climate change, with particular emphasis on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports;
  • Government, industry and public perceptions and representations of climate change, and the role of the media.
3) Climate change: adaptations (6 hours)
  • Carbon budgeting and carbon offsetting schemes: pros and cons;
  • Other forms of mitigation/adaptation towards a low carbon, sustainable economy (e.g. 'stabilisation triangle' approach);
  • Individual adaptations: what can you do? Implications of living a low carbon lifestyle.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The ability to analyse and interpret different numerical and graphical data are key elements of the climate change debate
Communication Assessing different forms of communication lies at the heart of the climate change debate, with many competing representations of climate change being produced by different interest groups in written, oral and visual form. The module explicitly focuses on providing students with the skills necessary to evaluate competing predictions and claims about climate change, particularly by stressing the power of different forms of communication in different contexts
Improving own Learning and Performance Snap formative assessment involving questions about climate change (similar to those that will appear in the final QMP examination) will be introduced throughout the module and/or hosted on Blackboard to provide benchmarks against which students can assess their own learning progress
Information Technology Identifying and evaluating different sources of web-based information (reliability, veracity etc.) is a key element of the climate change debate
Personal Development and Career planning Climate change is one of the most topical global issues, rapidly having risen up the scientific, social and political agenda. As will be made clear at the start and regularly throughout the module, in many areas of science, society, government and industry, there is a need for graduates who are educated in the multifaceted nature of the climate change debate, particularly those who are skilled at identifying, assessing and evaluating competing predictions, claims and representations of climate change. Upon successful completion of this module, students will have a solid background from which to undertake more advanced modules in physical and/or human geography that expand on climate change themes, and will be able to compete for a range of environmentally-related careers from a more informed basis
Problem solving Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world but currently, there are no universally- or widely-accepted solutions for how to mitigate and/or adapt to possible future climate changes. All proposed strategies for mitigation/adaptation have pros and cons, particularly when considered in different geographical contexts, and thus problem solving skills are a key element of the climate change debate
Research skills Although students will not plan or carry out their own research in this module, evaluating different research methods, designs and procedures that can lead to the production of information is a key element of the climate change debate
Subject Specific Skills Understanding of local, regional and global variation in physical and human aspects of the Earth system, particularly as it relates to the climate change debate
Team work n/a


This module is at CQFW Level 4