Module Identifier WS12410  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Giles Brown  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Robert Whittington, Dr Richard Lucas  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
Assessment Exam   2 Hours Multiple Choice Examination   100%  
  Resit assessment   2 Hours Multiple Choice Examination   100%  

Module Outline (Lecture Themes)

1. Overview of Global Change and Biogeochemical Cycles

2. Introduction to the Global Carbon Cycle

3. Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle
Nutrient Cycling (C, P, N)
Nutrient Deposition and Storage
Climate Change
Case Studies:   
(i) Contemporary (Tropical Deforestation)
(ii) Past (Quaternary Vegetation Changes)
(iii) Regional (Arctic Ecosystems and Snowpacks)

4. Terrestrial Chemical Weathering
Rock Weathering
Lithogenic Exposure (Orogenic Uplift and Sea Level Changes)
Nutrient Cycling
Delivery of Solute and Sediment to the Oceans
Climate Change
Case Study:
(i) Contemporary (Anthropogenic CO2 emissions)
(ii) Past (CO2 levels over glacial-interglacial cycles)
(iii) Regional (Chemical erosion in glacial environments)

5. The Oceans in Global Biogeochemical Cycles
Introduction to Ocean Biogeochemistry
Ocean circulation and Chemical Composition
Nutrient Cycling
The Oceans as a Sink for CO2
(i) Natural Cycles
(ii) Iron Fertilisation

6. The Future
Can the natural system cope?
Management (IPCC, Fossil Fuel Consumption)

Aims of the module

Biogeochemical cycles provide the basic framework for investigating environmental systems and global change and its implications for life on earth. This module aims to provide an integrated introductory knowledge of the interactions between the terrestrial and ocean systems.

Module objectives / Learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:-

Reading Lists

** Recommended Background
Bigg, G.R.. (1996) The Oceans and Climate. Cambridge University Press 0521452120
Butcher, S.S. and others. (1992) Global biogeochemical cycles. Academiv Press, London 0121476855
Chameides, W.L. and Perdue, E.M.. (1997) Biogeochemical Cycles: A computer-interactive study of Earth system science and global change. Oxford University Press
Chester, R.. (2000) Marine Geochemistry. 2nd. Chapman and Hall, London 0632054328
Open University Course Team. (1995) Seawater: its composition, properties, and behaviour. 2nd. Open University/ Pergamon Press
Ruddiman, W.F. (Ed). (1997) Tectonic Uplift and climate change. Plenum Press, London 0306456427
Schlesinger, W.H.. (1997) Biogeochemistry: An analysis of global change. Academic Press, London 012625155X

Boyd, P.W. and 34 others. (2000) A mesoscale phytoplankton bloom in the polar Southern Ocean stimulated by iron fertilisation.. Nature, 407, pp 695-702
Chisholm, S.W.. (2000) Stirring times in the Southern Ocean. Nature, 407, pp 685-687
Coale, K.H. and eighteen others. (1996) A massive phytoplankton bloom induced by an ecosystem scale iron fertilisation experiment in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Nature 383, pp 495-501
Cooper, D.J., Watson, A.J. and Nightingale, P.D.. (1996) Large decreases in ocean-surface fugacity in response to in-situ iron fertilisation. Nature 383, pp 511-513
Frost, B.W.. (1996) Phytoplankton bloom on iron rations. Nature 383, pp 475-476
Pearce, F.. (1996) Extra iron makes blue deserts bloom. New Scientist, 12 Volume 152, Issue 2051
Watson, A.J. and four others. (2000) Effect of iron supply on Southern Ocean CO2 uptake and implications for glacial atmospheric CO2. Nature, 407, pp 730-733