Modern and Future Climate

Subject ATOC30006 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x two hour lecture per week; 1 x two hour practical class per week.
Total Time Commitment:

Estimated total time commitment of 170 hours


All of:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:


Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Ian Simmonds


Subject Overview:

The main area of study in this subject is the broad examination of what maintains present climate and the manner in which the relevant processes may change into the future.

The topics to be covered in the subject include the global distributions of mean climatological parameters in present climate and their interconnections. Mechanisms of atmospheric instability, including baroclinicity. Maintenance of the global energy and angular momentum budgets and the roles of eddies. Radiative influences on global climate, especially variations in solar activity, carbon dioxide and methane. Atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane budgets and the Greenhouse Effect. Modelling of climate change and the use of emission scenarios. Interpretation and statistical analysis of future-climate scenarios and the use of ensemble simulations.

Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are to present an integrated description and analysis of the present state of global climate, and of the potential changes to it. The objectives will include investigations of the complex instability and feedback mechanisms which are intimately associated with climate variability and change.


Literature survey (1000 words) (20%) and two practicals (both 3%) and two problem sets (both 7%) during semester (not exceeding 1000 words in total); a 2-hour written examination in the examination period (60%). The literature survey will be set in the first half of semester and due at the end of semester. The practicals and problem sets will be set at approximately equal intervals during semester.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject students should have developed the following generic skills: An ability to think critically on how present climate arises and of the its sensitivity to a range of forcings.


This subject is available for science credit to students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 and new degrees), BASc or a combined BSc course.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate and Weather
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.

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