Hydroclimatology: Climate and Water

Description

This module introduces the Earth’s climate, weather and water system, represented by hydroclimatological variables such as precipitation, wind, air pressure, evaporation, snow and ice, (sub)surface water, and rivers. We will study the spatial and temporal variability of these variables, covering local (for example Birmingham), regional (for example UK) and global scales and timescales from minutes to centuries. We will discuss the meteorological and hydrological processes underlying these variables and the way they are linked through the water balance. We will investigate how to measure these variables, discussing both established techniques and exciting new approaches (for example satellite measurement). We will then introduce some important applications of this understanding, by focusing on the impacts of human-induced changes such as climate change on the water system and how water management can help alleviate extremes like floods and drought.

Assessment

1.5 hour unseen examination (50%), coursework (50%). The coursework consists of a report combining elements related to the module topics.

Delivery

36 hours of interactive large-group lectures, a programme of guided independent study and fieldwork based on homework assignments, directed reading and CANVAS resources, two hours of seminar including discussion and peer-evaluation, and two hours of assessment preparation workshop including discussion and peer-evaluation.

Key skills

Students undertaking this module will develop the following transferable skills:

  • Critical reading and independent literature searching
  • Critical thinking, including the application of theory/process understanding in practice and evaluation of complex, multifaceted issues
  • Analytical skills
  • Essay writing (through examination)