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GG3240   Ice and climate

Academic year(s): 2019-2020

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 20

ECTS credits : 10

Level : SCQF Level 9

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Offered on a two year cycle

Planned timetable: 9.00 am - 11.00 am Mon

The growth and decay of the Earth's glaciers and ice sheets is one of the most dramatic consequences of climatic variability. Over the course of the Quaternary period (2.6 Ma ago to the present), vast ice sheets have regularly expanded to cover much of Europe and North America before rapidly wasting away in just a few thousand years. Understanding the causes and effects of these past changes is of great importance at present as anthropogenic climate change pushes the Earth into a new phase of major deglaciation. This module will begin by looking at the evidence for past glaciation and its influence on landscape development and modern land use. It will then look at what these past glacial periods can tell us about the threat to present day glaciers and ice sheets, including the likely rate and magnitude of deglaciation, the key mechanisms and feedbacks controlling these changes, and the critical interactions between the Earth's ice, oceans and climate.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Entry to honours programme in Geography or Sustainable Development

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 1 x 1-hour lecture and 1 x 1-hour seminar (x 9 weeks), 1 x 2-hour practical (x 2 weeks), 1 x 1-day field trip

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Written Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

Re-assessment: 2-hour Written Examination = 100%


Module coordinator: Dr T R Cowton
Module teaching staff: Dr T Cowton