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CLI3301 Climate and Environment Risk Assessment

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Climate & Environment Risk Ass
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 010701 - Atmospheric Sciences
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Lila Singh-Peterson

Other requisites

Recommended requisites CLI1110 Weather and Climate or CLI 2201 Climate Change and Variability


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.


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

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

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.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Balmford, A, Bruner, A, Cooper, P, Costanza, R, Farber, S, Green, RE, Jenkins, M, Jefferiss, R, Jessamy, V, Madden, J, Munro, K, Myers, N, Naeem, S, Paavola, J, Rayment, M, Rosendo, S, Roughgarden, J, Trumper, K, & Turner, RK 2002, Economic reasons for conserving wild nature', Science, vol. 29, pp. 950-953.
Conley, MM, Kimball, BA, Brooks, TJ, Pinter, PJ, Hunsaker, et al 2001, New Phytologist, CO2 enrichment increases water-use efficiency in sorghum, vol. 151, pp. 407-412.
Costanza, R, d'Arge, R, de Groot, R, Farber, S, Grasso, M, Hannon, B, Limburg, K, Naeem, S, O'neill, RV, Paruelo, J, Raskin, RG, Sutton, P & van den Belt, M 1997, Nature, The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital, vol. 387, pp. 253-260.
Hennessy, K, Fawcett, R, Kirono, D, Mpelasoka, F, Jones, D, Bathols, J, Whetton, P, Smith, MS, Howden, M, Mitchell, C & Plummer, N 2008, An assessment of the impact of climate change on the nature and frequency of exceptional climate events, Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra, ACT.
Hoegh-Guldberg O, Mumby, PJ, Hooten, AJ, Steneck, RS, Greenfield, P, Gomez, E, Harvell, CD, Sale PF, Edwards, AJ, Caldeira, K, Knowlton, N, Eakin, CM, Iglesias-Prieto, R, Muthiga, N, Bradbury, RH, Dubi, A & Hatziolos, HE 2007, Science, Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification, vol. 318, pp. 1737-1742.
Kriticos, DJ, Sutherst, RW, Brown, JR, Adkins, SW, & Maywald, GF 2003, Biological Invasions, Climate change and biotic invasions: a case history of a tropical woody vine, vol. 5, pp. 145-165.
Lambers, H, Chapin III, FS & Pons, TL 2008, Plant physiological ecology, 2nd edn, Springer-verlag, New York.
Long, SP, Ainsworth, EA, Leakey, ADB, Nosberger, J & Ort, DR 2006, Science, Food for thought: Lower-than-expected yield stimulation with rising CO2 concentration, vol. 312, pp. 1918-1921.
Long, SP, Ainsworth, EA, Rogers, A & Ort, DR 2004, Annual Review of Plant Biology, Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide: plants FACE the future, vol. 55, pp. 591-628.
Meehl, GA, Washington, WM, Collins, WD, Arblaster, JM, Hu, A, Buja, LE, Strand, WG & Teng, H 2005, Science, How much more global warming and sea-level rise?, vol. 307, pp. 1769-1772.
Metz, B 2010, Controlling climate change, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005, Ecosystems and human well-being: Synthesis, Island press, Washington, DC.
Miller, GT & Spoolman, SE 2017, Living in the environment, 19th edn, Brooks/Cole, Belmont.
Mills, E 2005, Science, Insurance in a climate of change, vol. 309, pp. 1040-1044.
Patz, JA, Campbell-Lendrum, D, Holloway, T & Foley, JA 2005, Nature, Impact of regional climate change on human health, vol. 438, pp. 310-317.
Peake, S & Smith, J 2009, Climate change from science to sustainability, 2, Oxford University Press, New York.
Zhang DD, Brecke, P, Lee, HF, He, YQ & Zhang, J 2007, Global climate change, war, and population decline in recent human history, vol. 104, pp. 19214-19219.
(Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of USA.)

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 52.00
Examinations 2.00
Private Study 115.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
Assignment 1 100 20 29 Apr 2021 (see note 1)
Assignment 2 100 20 03 Jun 2021 (see note 2)
Open Examination - Online 100 60 End S1 (see note 3)

  1. Assignments 1 and 2 must be by electronic submission. Refer to your Introductory Book and course StudyDesk for correct labelling of electronic files and electronic submission details. Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
  2. Assignments 1 and 2 must be by electronic submission. Refer to your Introductory Book and course StudyDesk for correct labelling of electronic files and electronic submission details. Times and dates refer to Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST).
  3. This will be an Open Examination - Online. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course (i.e. the Primary Hurdle), and have satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), i.e. the end of semester examination by achieving at least 40% of the weighted marks available for that assessment item.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items and has passed the Primary Hurdle but failed to satisfy the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised), or has satisfied the Secondary Hurdle (Supervised) but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    Due to COVID-19 the requirements for S1 2021 are:
    An Open Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed or written material and a calculator during the examination.

    Requirements after S1 2021:
    Candidates are only allowed to access specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are:
    i. writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination).
    ii. Students whose first language is not English, may, take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Normally Deferred and Supplementary Examinations are held in the next Examination period. In S1 2021 selected courses will pilot an early Deferred and Supplementary Examination period held within 30 business days of results release. The list of courses involved can be found at

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to USQ electronically via the course website. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Examiner. In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a Show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the Examiner's convenience.

  2. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete-Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete-Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  3. Students must use the assignment template (.doc document) provided on the course Website for electronic submission of assignments. The templates include an assignment cover page and marking criteria and must be submitted in a Microsoft Office Word 2007 compatible format.

  4. In accordance with Faculty of Sciences and USQ regulations, applications for extensions to assignment due dates must be made in writing to the Examiner before the assignment due date. Applications for extensions must be accompanied by appropriate documentary evidence.

  5. Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Date printed 18 June 2021