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The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at https://www.usq.edu.au/course/specification/current.
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CLI3301 Climate and Environment Risk Assessment

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Agriculture and Environmental Science
Grading basis : Graded
Course fee schedule : https://www.unisq.edu.au/current-students/administration/fees/fee-schedules
Version produced : 7 December 2022


Examiner: Lila Singh-Peterson


Global and regional environmental changes are a reality and pose immense threats as well as opportunities in sustainable development of the build environment and utilisation of natural resources. The assessment of risks due to environmental and climatic changes is an important component in society’s response and ability to adapt to changes. This needs to be based upon sound scientific knowledge and understanding of the processes that drive environmental and climate changes. This course is of relevance to students that which to gain a better understanding of risk assessment processes and their application to climatic and environmental changes.

Most of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast and projected sea level change has dramatic impacts upon low lying coastal regions. Society depends on adequate and sufficient rainfall which is already changing in many regions of the world. Participants are introduced to the tools that are available to assess risks on local, state, national and international level. Certainties and uncertainties are discussed. This is a course that critically examines the impact of climate and arising risks to the natural and built environment and introduces students to the vulnerability of systems that arises from climate change and variability. Access to the internet is required.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. assess the vulnerability of many build and natural structures that are sensitive to climate change including economic systems, agricultural and food production systems, infrastructure, health, water resources, coastal systems and marine systems, ocean and atmosphere circulation, and many other;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the risks of climate change;
  3. apply the tools available to assess climate risks;
  4. identify key vulnerabilities using specific criteria such as magnitude, timing, persistence, and likelihood impacts;
  5. assess climate and environmental risks on regional and global scales and on varying temporal scales.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Climate change, the cause, attribution, current status, and future trends 25.00
2. Impacts of climate change in sectors 50.00
3. Regional impacts of climate change and assessment approaches 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

2010, State of Climate, CSIRO and BOM.
Allison, I, Bindoff, N, Bindschadler, R, Cox, P, de Noblet-Ducoudre, N, England, M, Francis, et al 2011, The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science, 2nd edn, The University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Sydney.
Broadleaf Capital International & Marsden Jacob Associates 2006, Climate change impacts & risk management - a guide for business and government, Australian Greenhouse Office in the Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, ACT.
Garnaut, R 2008, The Garnaut Climate Change Review, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne.
IPCC 2000, Special Report of Emission Scenarios, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
IPCC 2013, Assessment Report 4, Contribution of Working Group I, The physical science bases, 5th edn, Cambridge University Press, New York.
IPCC 2014, Assessment Report 4, Contribution of Working Group II, Impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability, 5th edn, Cambridge University Press, New York.
All textbooks used in this course can be downloaded from the links listed.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Approach Type Description Group
Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Assignments Oral Presentation (ind, grp, mltmd) No 40 1,2,4
Assignments Written Report Yes 50 1,2,3,5
Assignments Written Online forums No 10 1,2,3,4,5
Date printed 7 December 2022