The Module is organised around three parts, namely, Oceanography and Climatology/ Meteorology’. In the third part we shall study Climate Change in some detail – what the research currently tells us, and the intervention of human agency. Each part is broken into several units which build sequentially and progressively, and earlier ones have concepts and content which will be revisited from time-to-time and in increasing complexity. Given the essential connectedness of environmental systems, cycles and webs, we are dealing with complexity as it manifests in different ways, places, times and scales. When the human element is added to this, actually trying to discern the precise nature of a particular problem, and raising it with a view to understanding, solving, managing, and/or containing it, usually requires a deep knowledge of the subject area and the pursuit of certain intellectual processes and skills. Environmental Studies is the field of knowledge that seeks to study the environment, its biological and non-biological components, and especially the interactions of these components. It addresses the ways in which human societies integrate with the complex network of connections, and investigates how we affect the environment and, in turn, are affected by it. The intricate ecological interaction of these various components would be incomplete without a consideration of human agency also incorporated into the same ecological frame of reference. As a concerned citizen, it is here that scientific objectivity is necessarily mediated by our values. As well as seeking to understand more clearly the dynamic interactions taking place around us; in order to anticipate and ameliorate the effects of potentially destructive forces of nature, and our own ignorance in contributing to environmental damage, we are impelled to act. As members of the species homo sapiens and with the planet and its global systems now in sight from space, we are faced to consider alternative futures and to make choices.
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