Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Earth's Atmospheric System

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Environmental Management and Planning

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will provide the basic concepts of weather and climate, of the characteristics, structure, and processes of the atmosphere. Students will learn how to understand the weather and its processes. The emphasis will be on developing a broad understanding of the fundamental physical and dynamic processes governing the motions and behavior of the atmosphere, and its interactions with the underlying land and ocean surfaces. This study-unit will also address mesoscale meteorology with respect to regional and local atmospheric phenomena, which include the understanding of storms, fronts, convective clouds and boundary-layer circulations, including topographical effects. Mesoscale systems interact strongly with microscale processes at scales of order of a kilometre or less and with the large-scale global circulation.

Study-unit Aims:

This study-unit aims:

- To provide students with an understanding of basic meteorology;
- To enable students to apply knowledge gained in the analysis of weather conditions, including elements of weather forecasting;
- To provide an overview of applications and techniques encompassing meteorology, including satellite observations, in situ observation and monitoring, data analysis, management and archiving;
- To explain the analysis of regional weather charts and diagrams;
- To demonstrate linkages between various earth systems.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Explain the fundamental structure, composition, and dynamics of the atmosphere;
- Explain the elements that feed into weather analysis;
- Explain the role of atmospheric science as an integral part of Earth systems science.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Use the scientific method in weather analysis;
- Interpret atmospheric phenomena under normal and extreme regimes;
- Use basic tools and data to interpret weather data;
- Assess the relationship between global patterns and local meteorology.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Barry, R.G. and Chorley, R.J. (2010). Atmosphere, weather and climate. Routledge Taylor and Francis Group. ISBN: 9780415465694.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Fieldwork, Lectures and Tutorials

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Analysis Task SEM1 Yes 15%
Analysis Task SEM1 Yes 15%
Examination (2 Hours) SEM1 Yes 70%

LECTURER/S Charles Galdies (Co-ord.)
Adam Gauci

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.