AESC30230 Climate, Carbon and Soil

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module provides an overview of the challenges that climate change presents to agriculture and other land uses. An initial introduction to agro-meteorology will provide an illustrated overview of the influence of weather on agricultural systems and productivity. Topics such as the measurement of major climatic variables, the influence of these variables on crop growth and animal production, and the role of weather forecasting, and agrometeorology, will be covered. The current evidence for climate change and its likely consequences at global, EU and Irish scales will be explored. The major anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced by agriculture and other forms of land use will be covered. The importance of soils as both potential sources and sinks of GHGs will be explained. Options to mitigate GHG emissions from agriculture and other land uses, and for climate change adaptation, will be explored. The relevant international and national policies will be considered. Note that this module runs over the first 7 weeks of Spring (mid-January to early March) and usually has a formal written exam during the two-week Field Work Break (mid-March). This module also usually includes an on-campus fieldwork session at the meteorology station at Rosemount. Due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions, this fieldwork and written exam may have to be replaced by an appropriate assignment and assessment. Details will be provided.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to (i) understand the basis and value of agro-meteorological forecasting, (ii) describe the major trends in global climate change in relation to available evidence, (iii) understand the importance and implications of soil management and land use for climate change, (iv) identify the likely consequences of climate change on agriculture systems with an EU and Irish context, and (v) be familiar with current climate change legislation and policy designed to mitigate the contribution of agriculture to greenhouse gas emissions and enhance carbon sequestration. In addition students should have improved transferable skills such as (i) ability to critically review and summarise scientific information, (ii) work effectively in a group, and (iii) communicate results effectively to an audience.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)


Field Trip/External Visits




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The main teaching and learning approaches used in this module are:
- lectures
- student-driven learning
- field-based exercises
- report writing
- group work
- group presentations.

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions, the field-based exercise may need to be replaced with an appropriate alternative exercise. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
AESC20060 - Soil Science Basics

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Timetabled Examination will take place during the March Spring Field Work Break 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Seminar: Presentation Unspecified n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Fieldwork: Report Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Dr Thomas Cummins Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Fri 09:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 Fri 14:00 - 15:50