Planet Earth: Understanding and Protecting our Environment
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date_range Starts on April 18, 2022
event_note Ends on May 2, 2022
list 2 sequences
assignment Level : Introductory
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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Key Information

credit_card Free access
verified_user Fee-based Certificate
timer 6 hours in total

About the content

Discover the Earth’s natural systems and how human activity affects them
On this two-week course from the University of Leeds, you will discover the processes of the hydrosphere, the geosphere, and the biosphere and explore the impact of human activity and climate change on our planet.

Discover the hydrosphere and the impact of human activity on the water cycle
You’ll start by looking at the water cycle and the ways in which human activity and climate change affect it. You’ll learn how Leeds scientists monitor the quality of water and how this influences aquatic life and agriculture.

Then, you’ll explore the cryosphere, discover the role of ice in regulating the Earth’s climate, and the impact of glacier recession.

Understand the biosphere and explore how ecosystems are affected by a changing environment
The study of the biosphere is that of ecosystems. You’ll take a closer look at how human activity is changing the biosphere by exploring the ecosystems of tropical forests, their contribution to nature, and how this is affected by climate change.

Explore the changing geosphere
You’ll learn how human activity in the form of coastal erosion, intensive agriculture, and mining for fossil fuels is affecting the geosphere. You’ll also explore the role of soil and learn how we can evaluate the impact of climate change by studying rocks and fossils.

Discover how scientists are addressing environmental problems
You’ll learn about natural flood management techniques and managing coastal erosion based on research by the University of Leeds.

You’ll then explore how invasive species are altering ecosystems, look at how scientists are monitoring their spread, and propose ways to restore the natural balance. You’ll also find out how scientists are monitoring the effects of climate change and how they can inform effective land use management in future.

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This course is designed for anyone interested in understanding the earth system and exploring how to improve the relationship between humans and the environment.



Week 1: The changing environment

Week 2: Protecting and managing a changing environment



Tracy Aze
I am an Associate Professor of Marine Micropalaeontology in the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds. My research interests are climate change and marine biodiversity.


Content Designer

University of Leeds

L'université de Leeds est un établissement d'enseignement supérieur britannique située dans la ville de Leeds, dans la région anglaise de Yorkshire-et-Humber.




FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform founded in December 2012.

It is a company launched and wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. It is the first UK-led massive open online course learning platform, and as of March 2015 included 54 UK and international University partners and unlike similar platforms includes four non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and the National Film and Television School.

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