Module Identifier WS12410  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Sarah J Davies  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Robert J Whittington, Dr Richard M Lucas  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours Multiple Choice and Short-Answer Examination  100%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours Multiple Choice and Short-Answer Examination  100%

Learning outcomes

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


1. Overview of Global Change and Biogeochemical Cycles

2. Introduction to the Global Carbon Cycle

3. Terrestrial Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle
   Carbon cycling, Deposition and Storage
   Vegetation biomass, soil carbon and methane production
   Quaternary and recent vegetation changes; impacts on climate
   Case Study: Carbon balance of tropical forests
   Case Study: Land use and land cover changes

4. Tectonic Processes and Erosion and Chemical Weathering
   Rock Weathering
   Delivery of Solute and Sediment to the Oceans
   Atmospheric Co2 levels over glacial-interglacial cycles
   The role of chemical weathering in climate change
   Case studies:
   (i) Chemical erosion in glacial environments
   (ii) The Younger Dryas

5. The Oceans and Global Biogeochemical Cycles
   Introduction to Ocean Biogeochemistry
   Chemical composition and nutrient cycling in the oceans
   The Oceans as a Sink for CO2
   (i) Natural Cycles
   (ii) Iron Fertilisation

6. The Oceans
   Morphology and dynamics of ocean basins
   Physical properties of oceans
   Sea-level change and palaeo-oceanography
   Ocean circulation

7. The Future
   Response of the natural system
   The role of international agreements


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.

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Jacobson, et al (2000) Earth System Science Academic Press
Press, F. and R. Siever (1986) Earth 4th. Freeman and Company
** Recommended Background
Bigg, G.R. (1996) The Oceans and Climate Cambridge University Press
Butcher, S.S. and others (1992) Global biogeochemical cycles Academiv Press, London
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. (1990) Marine Geochemistry Chapman and Hall, London
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
Schlesinger, W.H. (1997) Biogeochemistry: An analysis of global change Academic Press, London


This module is at CQFW Level 4