Module Identifier GG31010  
Academic Year 2000/2001  
Co-ordinator Professor John Pomeroy  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours 10 x 2 hour  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours Unseen written examination; two out of four questions in two hours.   80%  
  Course work   Problem sets; four sets of problems, mandatory completion by deadline.   20%  
  Resit assessment   Based solely on unseen two hour written exam.    

The module aims to:

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
a) describe the microclimatic features of primary earth surface covers in key seasons
b) assess what the implications are of land cover change on microclimate
c) apply coupled energy and mass balance equations to calculate microclimate phenomena such as surface heating, evaporation, snow accumulation and ablation.

Brief description
This module will explore the principles and processes that govern the interaction of the Earth's land and cryosphere (snow/ice) with the atmosphere. This interaction is an important factor in understanding micro-climate, water balance and terrestrial ecosystem control of the atmosphere. Using the framework of energy and water budgets coupled through latent heat (evaporation/condensation) exchange, the variation in micro-climate with topography, elevation, aspect, vegetation and land use in several regions of the Earth will be examined first. Issues such as deforestation and agricultual land use will be discussed in terms of their remarkable impact on local climate. Secondly, the module will examine the unique interaction between snow and ice surfaces and atmosphere. This later interaction has an inordinate importance to governing climate and water resources in mountain, glaical, steppe, boreal and polar environments. The problem of spatial scaling between highly-variable microclimates and the larger scale predictions from climate and weather models will be addressed. Scaling has become a high profile issue as it is particularly important to understanding the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.

Reading Lists
Oke, T.R.. Boundary Layer Climates. Methuen & Co., London
Calder, I.R.. Evaporation in the Uplands. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester
Jones, H.G., Pomeroy, J.W., Walker, D., and R. Hoham. Ecology of Snow. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
Pomeroy, J.W. and D.M. Gray. Snow Accumulation, Relocation and Management. Environment Canada, Saskatoon