Learn climate science; how climate change is occurring and applications for an understanding of climatology.

Course Code: BSC208
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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This course is an important foundation for understanding plant growth. 
Temperature, humidity, light, wind and other climatic factors are the "drivers" that cause plants to live or die; grow fast or slow, and be very productive or not productive at all.
When you understand the climate; you are better able to manage all aspects of the environment in both urban and rural locations; in horticulture, agriculture, and beyond. 

Today more than ever, climate can be changeable; but fortunately not totally unpredictable.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Climatology
    • Introduction
    • Understanding how climate and weather affects us
    • What makes up weather?
    • How do we measure weather?
  2. Weather Science Foundations
    • Solar Radiation
    • Temperature
    • Precipitation
    • Deposition
    • Humidity
    • Clouds
  3. Circulation Patterns
    • Pressure Systems
    • Atmospheric Pressure
    • Pressure and Temperature
    • Latitudinal Circulation
    • Air masses
    • Wind
    • Trade Wind
    • The Beaufort Scale of Wind Speed
    • Frontal Systems
    • Oceanic circulation
    • Longitutinal Circulation
    • Southern Oscillation
    • Ocean Gyres
  4. Climate Classifications & Patterns
    • Types of Climates
    • Arid or Desert
    • Subtropical
    • Tropical
    • Temperate
    • Mediterranean
    • Coastal
    • Factors Which Influence Climate
    • Latitude
    • Wind Direction
    • Topography
    • Altitude
    • Aspect
    • Geographical Location
    • Climates Classification Models
    • Koppen Climate Classification
    • Thornwaite Climatic Classification System
    • Bergeron Climatic Classification System
    • Spatial Synpotic Classification (SSC)
    • Other Global Classification Systems
    • Holdridge Life Zone System
  5. Atmospheric Dynamics
    • Introduction to Atmosphere Composition
    • Purpose of the Atmosphere
    • Seasonal Variations
    • Vertical Structure of Atmosphere
    • Precipitation
    • Precipitation Processes and Other Events
    • Cloud Dynamics
    • Storms
    • Thunderstorms
    • Cyclones, Typhoons and Hurricanes
    • Tornadoes
    • METAR Codes for Precipitation Processes
    • Aerosols and Climate Processes
    • Indirect Effects of Aerosols
  6. Climate Changes
    • Factors that Cause or Influence Climate Change
    • Natural Causes
    • The Sun
    • Earth's Orbit
    • Earth's Axis
    • Oceanic Circulation
    • Oceanic Carbon Dioxide
    • Magnetic Field
    • Plate Tectonics
    • Volcanic Activities
    • Asteroids, Comets or Meteorite Impact
    • Manmade Causes or Anthropogenic Influences
    • Fossil Fuels
    • Agriculture
    • Deforestation
    • Nitrous Oxide
    • Other Pollution
    • Different Types of Climate Change Events
    • Glaciation and Ice Loss
    • Flora and Fauna
    • Ocean Warming and Sea Levels
    • Permafrost
    • Extreme Weather Events
    • zone Depletion
    • Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect
  7. Applications of Climate Science
    • Evolution of Methods and Techniques of Weather Forecasting
    • Early Methods & Simple Techniques
    • Modern Forecasting Approaches
    • Synoptic (Traditional) Forecasting
    • Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP)
    • Statistical Methods
    • Long and Short Range Forecasting
    • Understanding Forecasting Models
    • Simple Models
    • Tropical Cyclone Forecast Model
    • General Circulation MOdel (GCM)
    • Regional Climate Modelling
    • Collection and Applications of Weather and Climate Data
    • Weather Mapping
    • Satellite
    • Radar
    • Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM)
    • Verification Methods
    • Methods of Standard Verification
  8. Climatology Problem Based Learning Project
    • Management Processes
    • Planning
    • Organising
    • Leading
    • Controlling
    • Business Plans - Preparing a Plan
    • Decision Making
    • What to Plan for
    • Risk
    • Risk Analysis
    • Ways to Manage Risk

The atmosphere is composed of a mix of moisture, temperature and gases which, in one way or another, control the conditions that are vital for the occurrence of life on earth. These conditions are always, somewhat, active and are subject to change at every moment in time. The variations in the atmosphere along with the earth’s energy dynamics play a major role on what influences an everyday environmental behavior. This, along with the movement of the earth and the suns radiation, produces continuous and aggregate conditions of climate and weather phenomenon’s that affect, positively or negatively, life on earth.
Weather may be referred to as the atmospheric conditions of a particular place, and is generally determined by factors such as temperature, wind, air pressure and water vapour at any specific time.
Weather, therefore, can be understood as a constant change of the atmospheric state at a certain time and place; whereas, climate can be defined as the aggregation of weather patterns throughout a certain amount of time (e.g. years) at a certain place or region.

All of these aspects are also of concern to a plant and an animal growing indoors most of the time. Humidity, moisture supply, available nutrients, type of light and concentration also affect growth, development and function. Even a fully indoor environment relies indirectly on the weather for water to be supplied through some source and the power to be generated from wind, water or from fuels, to run the whole indoor system. The effects of pollution produced from running the indoor system will also have a direct or indirect effect on the weather and its components and as such the weather is part of the essential life cycle of plants and animals directly and/or indirectly.
Weather is always changing but it tends to form cycles or patterns. These are more evident in some areas and climates of the world than others. Some regions of the world are more prone to unusual or more severe weather patterns than others. Vegetation has an effect on weather patterns and the air we breathe. Man and his activity have, in many instances, influenced the type of weather we experience. For example, deforestation of the world has led to more carbon in the atmosphere. It seems that human activity is also largely responsible for the hole in the ozone layer and it’s when effects on climate.
For those who are outdoor workers whether they work in gardens or on projects producing crops for human and animal use, weather and its patterns are extremely important. Knowing what the weather will do ahead of time and being able to predict the right time for sowing and harvesting crops, can make all the difference to one’s livelihood. Additionally, knowing ahead of time what action to take to prevent damage to crops and livestock, such as frost prevention actions or extra irrigation to cope with upcoming heat waves, is extremely important to these growers. For this reason people who live in rural areas and or who work in the agriculture or horticulture sectors are generally more in tune with the climate and weather than those who live in suburbia.
In urban or suburban situations, often the only concern may be what to wear to work, whether one needs an umbrella, coat or sunscreen. Whether there is water coming out of the tap for a drink or bath, and the price of vegetables, fruits and foods may be the extent of interest for those living in this environment. However, pricing may be due to some unpredictable weather activity somewhere or poor decision making, in terms of floods or famine.
To understand, forecast and predict weather means an individual is much more informed and responsible. They can take action and adjust what they do, and become aware of how their daily activities of energy use, recycling, reusing and conserving affects the climate.

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

John L. Mason

Auithor of "Commercial Hydroponics", one of the world's best selling hydroponic books for more than 20 years. John completed a Diploma in Horticultural Science at Australia's oldest horticulture college in 1971. In 1974 he was asked to create and teach a

Rosemary Davies (Horticulturist)

Rosemary trained in Horticulture at Melbourne Universities Burnley campus; studying all aspects of horticulture -vegetable and fruit production, landscaping, amenity, turf, aboriculture and the horticultural sciences.
Initially she worked with the Depart

Barbara Seguel

Teacher and Researcher, Biologist, Aquaculture expert.
Barbara has a B.Sc. and M.Sc in Aquaculture Engineering.
Over the past decade, Barbara has worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and is now settled in Australia. She has co authored severa

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