DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Climate Change: Causes and Consequences
Module Code GY218
School 68
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Darren Clarke
Semester 2: Darren Clarke
Autumn: Darren Clarke
Module TeachersSusan Hegarty
Grania Shanahan
Darren Clarke
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The purpose of this module is to give the student a sound introduction to climate change and climate change science. In this module students develop knowledge on the basics of climate change, the history of climate science, the current state of the knowledge of climate change and how climate science is used to develop projections of the future and how it can be used to inform national, supra-national and global policy. The 2013 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is examined to assess anthropogenic climate forcing, indicators of climate change, observations in climate system, climate models as well as an examination of COP21 and its impact on human activities and climate change.

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify the causes of climate change and describe and explain climate forcing factors
2. Describe and interpret observations of change in the climate system
3. Critically assess the role of human activities in modern climate change
4. Assess future climate change scenarios and their potential impact on the Earth
5. Conclude how climate change science informs the agenda and how this agenda impact on policy

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Formal Lectures
Assignment Completion20MCQ preparation and completion
Independent Study55Work through class material outside class time
Independent Study26Preparation and completion of formal exam
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Methods of analysing climate change and archival data

Climate forcings and feedbacks

Biogeochemical cycles and their influence on climate through time

Examination of observations of change in the climate system

Near-Term Climate Change

Long Term Climate

Climate Models

Anthropogenic impact on climate change

Climate change policy

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment50% Examination Weight50%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Short Answer QuestionsMCQs x210%As required
AssignmentEssay40%As required
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • William F. Ruddiman: 2013, Earth’s Climate, Past and Future, W. H. Freeman and Company,
  • Barry R. G. and E.A. Hall-McKim: 2014, Essentials of the earth's climate system, Cambridge University Press,
  • O’Hare, G., Sweeney, J., Wilby, R.L. .: 2014, Weather, Climate, and climate change: Human Perspectives,
  • Dessler, A. E.: 2015, Introduction to Modern Climate Change. (2nd Edition)., Cambridge University Press,
  • Middleton, N..: 2013, The Global Casino: An Introduction to Environmental Issues 5th Ed., Routledge,
Other Resources

46406, Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.), 0, IPCC, 2013: Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York, 46407, Dwyer, N., 2012, The Status of Ireland’s Climate, EPA. Johnstown Castle., http://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/research/climate/ccrpreport26.html#.Vm6sjbiyOko, 46408, Sweeney, J., 2008, Climate Change – Refining the impacts for Ireland. EPA. Johnstown Castle., https://www.epa.ie/pubs/reports/research/climate/sweeney-report-strive-12-for-web-low-res.pdf, 46409, 0, Additional resources including journal articles will be made available on Loop.,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
BAJHBachelor of Arts (BAJH)
BAJPBachelor of Arts (BAJP)
BCESClimate & Environmental Sustainability
HMSAStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)
HMSAOStudy Abroad (Humanities & Soc Science)

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement