250080 Climate Change - Effects on Food and Feed

Responsible DepartmentDepartment of Agriculture and Ecology

Earliest Possible YearMSc. 1 year to MSc. 2 year
DurationOne block
Credits7.5 (ECTS)
Level of CourseMSc
ExaminationContinuous Assessment

written examination and oral examination

All aids allowed

Description of Examination: Continious assessment of practical and theoretical assignments - one for each of the 5 modules.

7-point scale, internal examiner
Block PlacementBlock 2
Week Structure: C
Language of InstructionEnglish
Optional Prerequisites250004 
Basic understanding of crop physiology is assumed. Basic understanding of causes and effects of climate changes is also assumed.
Course Content
This international course is based on the premise that rising carbon dioxide levels should increase crop yields - through the so-called C-fertilization effect. However climate change impacts on crop qualities are context dependent. The impacts are governed by a set of physiological laws, mechanisms and relations. Thus, exemplification will to some degree be up to the students' interests although there always will be cases relating to feed, mainly roughages, and grain quality of cereals and pulses.
Relations covered are:
. Carbon dilution of the micro- and macro minerals in the crop product.
. Negative feedback mechanisms on harvesting the benefits of CO2 fertilization
. Interdependencies and delay functions in crop - climate relations
. Leaf level temperature increases following a close of stomata after saturation with CO2
. Transpiration and WUE following an increase in CO2
. Lignocelluloses changes following an increase in CO2
. CO2 fertilization offsetting of consequences of rising temperatures
. Change in protein content and quality following CO2 fertilization
Teaching and learning Methods
Key lectures with review the main climate change effects on crop growths and quality on global and regional levels. Exercises will build students skills of applying empirical and dynamic models on investigating the relations. Modelling and description of the key processes in plant growth in relation to climate change (enhanced air temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration) is based on self studies, but are subsequently 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.
Learning Outcome
The aims are to expose the students to the tools to understanding climate changes - crop growth and quality relations by thoroughly emphasising the theory and practice of using analytical tools and models, to aid in taking proper action of imminent and future changes in the complex climate change situation. Interrelations and time delays are key elements as are Systems Thinking.
. Provide an overview of theories of climate-crop growth relations
. Give a detailed account of and critically evaluate current research on impact of climate change on our food and feed qualities
. Summarise the theoretical concepts in an modelling approach
. Apply empirical and dynamic modelling approaches to investigate climate and crop quality interactions
. Participate in academic discussions on climate change and impact on agricultural activities
. Identify, analyse and communicate a research question from a complex setting to broader audiences using modelling and modern statistical tools
. Participate in public discussions on an academic level regarding climate change and food and feed qualities in the role of researcher, advisor, policymaker or programme employee
. Display independence, integrity and develop new relevant knowledge and skills when working in the food and crop sector
. Use appropriate tools to analyse whole systems
Course Literature
A compendium will be developed
Course Coordinator
Brian William Wilson Grout, bwg@life.ku.dk, Department of Agriculture and Ecology/Crop Science, Phone: 353-33407
Søren Hansen, sha@life.ku.dk, Department of Basic Sciences and Environment/Agrohydrology, Phone: 353-33386
John Roy Porter, jrp@life.ku.dk, Department of Agriculture and Ecology/Crop Science, Phone: 353-33377
Søren K. Rasmussen, skr@life.ku.dk, Department of Agriculture and Ecology/Plant and Soil Science, Phone: 353-33436
Study Board
Study Committee NSN
Work Load
theoretical exercises25