• University of Leeds

Discovering Science: Atmospheric Chemistry

What can we learn about Earth, and other planets in and beyond our solar system, by studying their atmospheres?

12,146 enrolled on this course

Discovering Science: Atmospheric Chemistry
This course is part of the Discovering Science program, which will enable you to learn about the extraordinary world of everyday chemistry, and earn 10 academic credits from the University of Leeds.

Why join the course?

Learn about the role that radiation and greenhouse gases play in our understanding of atmospheric chemistry. As levels of CO2 in the atmosphere increase, you will discover the solutions scientists are exploring to reduce levels. And, discover how missions to other planets and moons in our solar system are revealing extraordinarily diverse atmospheres. Explore how an exponential increase in the discovery of new exoplanets is helping us learn about the evolution of our own atmosphere.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds Learn about the atmospheres of the planets in our solar system, and develop your understanding of their extraordinary chemistry. In week one, Professor Dwayne Heard introduces you to the topical issue of climate and pollution. Discover what chemistry can tell us about the future health of our atmosphere, and begin to understand the complexity of climate change. In week two, discover how missions to other planets and moons in our solar system are revealing extraordinarily diverse atmospheres. Learn how the evolution of our own atmosphere is being understood through the recent discovery of more than 1,000 exoplanets around the stars in our galaxy.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds As part of the Discovering Science Programme, this course will demonstrate how science is communicated and will further develop your science writing skills, helping you reach a wider audience.

Skip to 1 minute and 7 seconds Sign up now for Discovering Science: Atmospheric Chemistry.

Syllabus

  • Week 1

    Climate and pollution

    • Welcome

      The first week of this course introduces you to the topic of ‘climate and pollution’.

    • Historical perspectives

      In this activity, you are introduced to the hot topic of ‘Climate and pollution’. You’ll find out about the role that chemistry plays in climate change and pollution.

    • Science in action

      In this activity, you discover the FAGE container. Rob Woodward-Massey, a research student at the University of Leeds, explains how he uses it to conduct research into Earth’s atmosphere.

    • Future perspectives

      In this activity, Professor Dwayne Heard discusses the future of living with climate change, and the contributing impact humans are making.

    • Revision

      This revision activity provides further opportunity to explore the topics covered this week. It is recommended that you join this activity if you have signed up for the program and are working towards academic credit.

    • Summary

      To close this week of the course you have the opportunity to reflect on the week and explore the glossary.

  • Week 2

    Planetary atmospheres

    • About Week 2

      This week you will be introduced to the topic of planetary atmospheres. You’ll look at an overview of the variety of atmospheres in our solar systems, followed by case studies of recent NASA missions to Saturn and its moon, Titan.

    • Historical perspectives

      In this activity, you explore the atmospheres in our solar system and a history of planetary atmosphere exploration. You also look at technological advances which have enabled images to be transferred over billions of kilometres.

    • Science in action

      This activity is based on the current Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, specifically studying the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and laboratory measurements that assist in our understanding of the mission findings.

    • Future perspectives

      In this activity, you take a look at just one motivation for studying planetary atmospheres: the search for life in our universe.

    • Revision

      This revision activity provides further opportunity to explore the topics covered this week. It is recommended that you join this activity if you have signed up for the program and are working towards academic credit.

    • Summary

      Paul reflects on the week through a summary of discussions, questions and comments. There is also an opportunity for you to test your understanding and find out more about the other courses in the program.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service
The CPD Certification Service:

This course has been accredited by the CPD Certification Service, which means it can be used to provide evidence of your continuing professional development.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the chemistry behind climate and pollution in Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Assess the future of living with climate change, the contributing impact humans are making and possible solutions.
  • Explore how knowledge of chemistry helps us to understand the planets in the solar system.
  • Assess the impact of current space missions and how these may help us find life on other planets.

Who is the course for?

The course is suitable for anyone with a general interest in chemistry; no previous knowledge or experience is required.

If you are working in the field of science and would like to practice and improve your science writing skills, this course is designed to support you as a professional. By completing all aspects of the course you will have achieved 14 hours of CPD time.

If you intend to complete the Discovering Science program, it is recommended that you complete Discovering Science: Science Writing before starting this course, however this course can still be studied independently.

Who will you learn with?

I'm from Holmfirth in Yorkshire. I'm a Professor at the University of Leeds. I'm a Pro-Dean and research cancer & evolution https://physicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/staff/210/professor-paul-taylor

I'm a research scientist/Teaching Fellow within the School of Chemistry at the University of Leeds, interested in the structure-based design of novel medicines for infectious diseases.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

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