Climate change: Impacts and Adaptation

Module code: 838F8
Level 7 (Masters)
30 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Laboratory, Seminar, Lecture
Assessment modes: Essay

This course is concerned with how we determine the impacts of climate change on the natural and managed systems on which we depend, and how we might adapt to these impacts. It provides you with an overview of projections of future climate at the regional scale and the chance to evaluate the associated uncertainties, illustrated through programmes like the UK Climate impacts programme (UKCIP). You will consider the general 'top-down' methodology of climate change impact assessment, illustrated with case studies from a range of sectors including water resources, forestry, food production, coastal systems and health.

The material will focus on quanitifying the risks of climate impacts and methods to determine uncertainty. You will also consider how you can determine what is considered to be 'dangerous climate change', and the spectrum of complementary approaches to developing adaptation strategies (such as the bottom-up 'vulnerability assessments' and adaptive social protection). Issues relating to adaptation policy at the local and national level, including National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs) and the economics of adaptation, will also be highlighted.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of methodologies of climate change Impact assessment
  • Assess likely risks of climate change in key sectors
  • Understand the approaches to vulnerability assessment, adaptation strategies and adaptation policy frameworks
  • Critically assess popular articles and scientific papers on climate change impacts