Global Change and the Biosphere
This course will focus on the causes and impacts of different global change drivers (altered climate, anthropogenic nutrient deposition and land-use change) on the biosphere. We will cover a whole range of topics including changes in atmospheric chemistry and climate from deep time to the present; the water, carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous cycles; the role of climate and nutrient availability in shaping life on Earth; the impact of different global change drivers on patterns of species richness, distribution and phenology, and the ecological and evolutionary responses of species and ecosystems to these changing anthropogenic drivers.
Assessment for the course will be based on a presentation (30%), a final term paper (60%) and class participation (10%)
By the end of this course, the student is expected to:
1. Understand the deep time history and current day dynamics of Earth’s climate and biogeochemistry
2. Have a broad knowledge of major themes that emerge in the responses of species and ecosystems to ongoing and predicted global change
3. Be able to critically read and evaluate the burgeoning literature in this field
4. Have a strong knowledge-base of the literature and knowledge gaps in the above topics for the Indian subcontinent