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). This module usually includes an on-campus fieldwork session at the meteorology station at Rosemount. Please note that, if the situation with COVID-19 requires it, this fieldwork may have to be replaced by an appropriate assignment and assessment. Details will be provided if that is the case.

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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 within 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


Seminar (or Webinar)


Field Trip/External Visits


Autonomous Student Learning




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
- essay writing
- group work
- group presentations.

Please note that, if the situation with COVID-19 requires it, the field-based exercise may need to be replaced with an appropriate alternative exercise. Details will be provided if that is the case. 
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
Essay: An essay on a key topic in soils and climate change. Throughout the Trimester n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


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


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


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
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
Dr Magdalena Necpalova Lecturer / Co-Lecturer