Natural Sciences

Atmospheric Chemistry (2019/0)

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Module TitleAtmospheric Chemistry Credit Value15
Module CodeNSC3006 Module ConvenorProfessor Nadine Unger
Duration: Term 1 2 3
No. of weeks 11
Number students taking module (anticipated) 25
Module description

All of the major global environmental challenges of our time are mediated through the chemistry of the atmosphere: the global spread of air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion, and global climate change. This module is designed to explore the chemical and physical processes determining the composition of the atmosphere and its implications for climate, ecosystems, and human welfare. The goal is to provide you with a familiarity of concepts essential to an understanding of sources of atmospheric trace gases and particles, their chemical and physical transformations, their atmospheric effects, and their removal processes. The module provides an overview of current topics in atmospheric chemistry research This applied science module is aimed at Natural Science students.

Module aims

The aim of the module is to provide a working knowledge of atmospheric chemistry and applications to air pollution and climate change problems at local and global scales. Lecture materials and homework assignments strike a balance between principles of atmospheric science, tropospheric and stratospheric chemistry, insights on human disturbances to the atmosphere and climate, and perspectives on air pollution impacts on society. Additional goals of the course are: to learn ways in which atmospheric chemistry and climate models are used for decision-making and regulatory applications; to gain experience in handling air pollution data and climate model products; to increase proficiency in reading (and critiquing) primary literature in atmospheric chemistry. The module introduces you to current hot topics in atmospheric chemistry research including air pollution and climate change. You will learn about the tools required to study such issues, and explore how research can inform policy and practice.

You will develop the following graduate attributes:

  • Team work in the tasks given for the assessments
  • Applied thinking and problem solving – applying the knowledge you have gained to develop effective science-based solutions to air pollution and climate change problems
  • People skills in communicating with peers
INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES (ILOs) (see assessment section below for how ILOs will be assessed)

On successful completion of this module, you should be able to:

Module Specific Skills and Knowledge:

  • 1. Describe in detail basic atmospheric science and structure: pressure, temperature, density, layers, radiation, the greenhouse effect
  • 2. Discuss physical chemistry, chemical kinetics, photodissociation, and photochemistry in the atmosphere
  • 3. Evaluate atmospheric transport and the general circulation of the atmosphere
  • 4. Evaluate the chemical origin of the stratospheric ozone layer and Analyse the chemistry of stratospheric ozone depletion
  • 5. Summarise tropospheric chemical oxidation mechanisms, the formation of photochemical smog and ozone and discuss linkages between air pollution and climate change
  • 6. Apply understanding of atmospheric aerosols: their chemical transformation, removal and radiative effects

Discipline Specific Skills and Knowledge:

  • 7. Demonstrate and apply a knowledge and understanding of atmospheric chemistry
  • 8. Apply essential facts and theories of atmospheric chemistry
  • 9. Evaluate aspects of current research in atmospheric chemistry with reference to textbooks and other literature sources

Personal and Key Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge:

  • 10. Communicate ideas effectively and professionally by written means
  • 11. Participate effectively and professionally in discussion of scientific ideas
  • 12. Interact effectively in a group
  • 13. Study independently
  • 14. With limited guidance, select and properly manage information drawn from books and other literature sources

SYLLABUS PLAN - summary of the structure and academic content of the module

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Measures of atmospheric composition
  • Atmospheric structure: pressure, density, temperature
  • Atmospheric radiation, greenhouse effect
  • Chemical kinetics, photodissociation, photochemistry
  • Stratospheric chemistry
  • Atmospheric transport
  • Tropospheric chemistry
  • Atmospheric aerosols
  • Air pollution
  • Climate change
LEARNING AND TEACHING
LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS (given in hours of study time)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad
22128
DETAILS OF LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND TEACHING METHODS
CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching17Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching5Workshops/problems classes
Guided Independent Study20Preparation of continuous assessments
Guided Independent Study40Preparation for problems classes
Guided Independent Study68Guided reading of scientific literature and textbook references, plus revision
ASSESSMENT
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT - for feedback and development purposes; does not count towards module grade
Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Problems classes5 x 1 hourAllOral and ELE solutions
Feedback via ELE forumAd hocAllWritten
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT (% of credit)
CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
40600
DETAILS OF SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT
Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Problem sheet 1201500 words1-10, 13-14Written and oral
Problem sheet 2201500 words1-10, 13-14Written and oral
Examination602 hours1-10, 13-14Written and via tutor
DETAILS OF RE-ASSESSMENT (where required by referral or deferral)
Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Problem sheet 1Examination1-10, 13-14August ref/def
Problem sheet 2Examination1-10, 13-14August ref/def
ExaminationExamination1-10, 13-14August ref/def
RE-ASSESSMENT NOTES

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to sit a further examination. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will count for 100% of the final mark and will be capped at 40%.

RESOURCES
INDICATIVE LEARNING RESOURCES - The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener

Reading list for this module:

  • Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics: From Air Pollution to Climate Change, J.H. Seinfeld and S.N. Pandis, 3rd Edition, John Wiley and Sons, 2016.
Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Web based and electronic resources
Other resources

 

CREDIT VALUE 15 ECTS VALUE

7.5

PRE-REQUISITE MODULES

NSC2002 Physical Chemistry and ECM2702 Differential Equations

CO-REQUISITE MODULES

None

NQF LEVEL (FHEQ)

6

AVAILABLE AS DISTANCE LEARNING?

No

ORIGIN DATE

06/01/2017

LAST REVISION DATE

21/06/2018

KEY WORDS SEARCH

Atmospheric chemistry, ozone, aerosols, climate change, air pollution, stratospheric ozone hole