Global Energy Balance and Climate Change
Queensland University of Technology
Area of Study
Engineering Science, Environmental Science, Environmental Sustainability
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits3 - 4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units4 - 6
Hours & Credits
Modern societies are becoming increasingly aware of potential environmental problems associated with conventional energy production technologies. Application of alternative technologies is therefore increasing, with ambitious targets and plans to support research and development for reducing energy related environmental consequences. Already, energy designs in modern developments are based on packages selected from a number of different energy resources. In particular, solar energy is being harvested for daylighting, direct heating and electricity production.
This unit is designed to offer science and engineering students an opportunity to gain awareness about the expanding field of alternative energy technologies and to understand relationships between use of energy and its impact on local and global environment.
On completion of this unit you should be able to:
1. Understand the significance, scope and limitations of energy resources used on a global scale such as fossil fuels, nuclear and renewable energy.
2. Understand, on a scientific basis, the relationships between energy consumption, generation of pollutants, and their impact on health and the environment, and. different mechanisms of transport of pollutants.
3. Understand the role of scientists and engineers in the society and short and long-term social and environmental implications of the decisions that they make.
4. Understand the role of aerosols in controlling Earth's climate and their impact on health and environment on regional and global level. Describe some techniques used to measure aerosols.
5. Manage scientific experimental and reporting tasks carried out as a part of a team and as an individual and express yourself with technical and scientific rigour both verbally and in writing.
6. Explain, on scientific basis, different mechanisms of transport of pollutants through material media.
Energy needs of the world - past, present and future
Global energy balance
Principles of the physics of energy
Energy transport and exchange, radiative energy, heat transfer
Earth's energy balance
Relationship between Earth's energy, climate and meteorology
Astronomy of the Sun - a terrestrial perspective of solar astronomy
Solar radiation on the Earth
Composition and structure of Earth's atmosphere
Climate and meteorology
Atmospheric pollution and its impact on energy balance
Sources of atmospheric pollution - focus on combustion of fossil fuels
Composition of atmospheric pollution in gaseous and particulate phases
Aerosols - physical and chemical properties
Mechanisms of pollutant transport
Diffusion, dispersion and advection Fluid dynamics
The Gaussian plume model
The greenhouse effect
Definition of the greenhouse effect
Global warming - Earth's past, present and predicted temperature profiles, Relationship between climate change and energy exchange
Consequences of global warming
Stratospheric ozone reduction
Structure of the ozone layer and its relationship with UV radiation
Changes in atmospheric composition and their effect on the natural ozone layer
Effect of stratospheric ozone reduction on human health and ecology
Sources of energy for human use
Conventional and alternative sources of energy for use in the built environment, transportation and industry - their scope and limitations
Renewable energy technologies
Heat transfer for harvesting solar energy
The optics of collectors
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.