Module Information

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 online exam  100%
Supplementary Exam 1.5 Hours   Multiple-choice online exam  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:

The Hydrological Cycle

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)

Global run-off

The cryosphere

Global water resources

The SimSphere model: an introduction, practical

Environmental change during the Quaternary

Human impacts on the water cycle



This module is at CQFW Level 4