LPLK10365U  Climate Change - Effects on Food and Feed

Volume 2013/2014
Education
Msc Programme in Agricultural Development
Erasmus Mundus - Agris Mundus
MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Animal Science
Content
This international course is based on the premise that rising carbon dioxide levels may increase crop yields in some regions, dueto the so-called C-fertilization effect, yet in other parts of the globe dramatically damaginfg consequences may result.  The impacts are governed by a set of physiological laws, mechanisms and the genetics of the crop plants, together with the impact of management procedures that might be applied. These inter-relationships will be critically examined at the plant level, with consideration of the economic and social implications of the changes.
The possible roles of both conventional and molecular plant breeding in mderating the effects of climate change will be considered, together with possible changes in agricultural practice
Learning Outcome

This international course is based on the premise that rising carbon dioxide levels and temperature may increase crop yields in some regions, due at least in part to the so-called C-fertilization effect, yet in other parts of the globe dramatically damaging consequences may result.  The impacts are governed by a set of physiological laws, mechanisms and the genetics of the crop plants, together with the impact of management procedures that might be applied. These inter-relationships will be critically examined at the plant level, with consideration of the economic and social implications of the changes.
The possible roles of both conventional and molecular plant breeding in moderating the effects of climate change will be considered, together with possible changes in agricultural practice.
The aims are to expose the students to the tools to understanding climate changes in a global context . Understanding the impact of climate change on crop growth performance will be emphasised using analytical tools and models, to aid the students in taking a critical, informed view of the difficulties facing global crop production.

Knowledge
• Provide an overview of theories of climate-crop growth relations and expand these to include different climate change scenarios
Give a detailed account of and critically evaluate current research on the impact of climate change on the quantity and quality of our food and feed resources
• Summarise the theoretical concepts involved in a modelling approach to understanding climate change and its impacts
• To understand, at a high academic level, the plant biology and associated issues regarding climate change and food and feed production •
• Identify, analyse and communicate a research question from a complex setting to broader audiences using modelling and modern statistical tools

Skills:
• To be able to participate in academic discussions on climate change and the impact on agricultural activities, assuming the role of researcher, advisor or policymaker
• Display independence, integrity and develop new relevant knowledge and skills when working in the food and crop sector
• Use appropriate tools to analyse whole biological production systems relevant to food production and climate

A portfolio of current/recent research articles is compiled as part of course activities
The 2007 IPCC report and the COP 16 and 17 reports are required reading
The Physiology of Crop Yield by Hay & Porter is strongly recommended reading
A bachelor degree in an appropriate, biologiaclly-related subject. Basic understanding of crop physiology is assumed. Basic understanding of causes and effects of climate changes is also assumed.
Key lectures will review the main climate change effects on crop growth and quality on global and regional levels and students wil ldeliver brief seminar papers on selected topics. Exercises will build students skills of applying empirical and dynamic models to key processes in plant growth in relation to climate change (enhanced air temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration). Such issues will be discussed, analysed and modelled in class. Group presentations and discussions will build competencies in terms of presenting and discussing complex issues on an academic level.
Credit
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 min
Written examination
Continuous assessment of practical and theoretical assignments - one for each of the 5 modules
Exam registration requirements
Continuous assessment
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner
Criteria for exam assesment
See learning outcome.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Practical exercises
  • 40
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • Preparation
  • 76
  • Exam
  • 15
  • Total
  • 206