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Nature & Environment

Nature & Environment

Explore our shared home and get to know the species you're sharing it with.

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Grid List Results: 89 items
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The oceans free course icon Level 2 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The oceans

The oceans cover more than 70 per cent of our planet. In this free course, The oceans, you will learn about the depths of the oceans and the properties of the water that fills them, what drives the ocean circulation and how the oceans influence our climate.

Free course
15 hrs
Can renewable energy sources power the world? free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Can renewable energy sources power the world?

We ask the question ‘Can renewable energy sources power the world?’ as a response to the growing awareness that increased use of renewable energy technologies is making a major contribution to global efforts to limit anthropogenic climate change. The course begins by examining the environmental concerns that have caused a rise in interest in renewable energy, introducing the main sources and technologies, and describing global efforts to increase the share of renewables. The course then looks at each of the principal renewable energy technologies and the contributions they might make to global energy demand. Finally, several future energy scenarios are analysed to show how combinations of renewable energy sources and technologies could provide a major share of global energy needs.

Free course
24 hrs
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Animals at the extremes: Hibernation and torpor free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Animals at the extremes: Hibernation and torpor

Hibernation is an ingenious adaptation that some animals employ to survive difficult conditions in winter. This free course, Animals at the extremes: Hibernation and torpor, examines the differences between hibernation and torpor, and discusses the characteristic signs of hibernation behaviour. It explores the triggers that bring on hibernation, and whether internal signals or external season cues are predominant. It also examines the physiological adaptations that occur in hibernating animals.

Free course
14 hrs
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Surviving the winter free course icon Level 1 icon

Nature & Environment 

Surviving the winter

In this free course, Surviving the winter, we study one aspect of the fluctuating nature of an organisms environment. We consider how organisms living in a temperate climate, such as that in Britain, are adapted to cope with winter. You will see that there is much diversity of adaptations among organisms, with different species coping with the demands of a fluctuating environment in quite different ways. As cyclic variations are a widespread feature of environments, the range of adaptations to them is an important source of biological diversity.

Free course
10 hrs
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Environment: understanding atmospheric and ocean flows free course icon Level 1 icon

Nature & Environment 

Environment: understanding atmospheric and ocean flows

What affects the atmospheric and ocean flows? This free course, Environment: understanding atmospheric and ocean flows, explores the mechanisms that are important; the most rapid carrier is the wind. The basic principle of global atmospheric circulation is simple: warm air rises and cold air sinks. How does this principle affect the atmosphere and flow of water in practical terms? Starting with an iconic environmental icon, the polar bear, you will learn how global flows of water, heat and pollution are affecting the Arctic region and changing our world.

Free course
10 hrs
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Environment: treading lightly on the Earth free course icon Level 1 icon

Nature & Environment 

Environment: treading lightly on the Earth

Environment: treading lightly on the Earth focuses on the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, especially carbon dioxide. This free course will give you an understanding of the nature and importance of carbon footprints of individuals and households. It will enable you to measure your own carbon footprint and explore what you could do to reduce that footprint and so ‘tread more lightly on the Earth’.

Free course
15 hrs
Waste management and environmentalism in China free course icon Level 1 icon

Nature & Environment 

Waste management and environmentalism in China

This free course, Waste management and environmentalism in China, is an introduction to waste generation and waste management processes currently being practiced in China. This course explores how the Chinese can deal with increasing volumes of waste, drawing parallels with the UK experience of waste management. It also discusses the conceptual tools that can be used to make the cycle of material use, waste production and treatment more sustainable. The course ends with a brief examination of the growth of environmentalism in China.

Free course
8 hrs
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Understanding water quality free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Understanding water quality

Water is arguably the most important physical resource as it is the one that is essential to human survival. Understanding the global water cycle and how we use water is essential to planning a sustainable source of water for the future. In the UK there are areas where water supplies are limited, shown by recent droughts. Globally, there are many areas that do not have enough water to support the current population adequately. Decisions will have to be made on the best way to use water in a world where there is climate change. This free course, Understanding water quality, helps explain the options.

Free course
10 hrs
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Future energy demand and supply free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Future energy demand and supply

When you consider that the global annual consumption of primary energy increased more than ten-fold during the 20th Century, the importance of planning future energy supply becomes clear. Future energy demand and supply is a free course that offers an introduction to how this is being undertaken.

Free course
13 hrs
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Eutrophication free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Eutrophication

Managing eutrophication is a key element in maintaining the earths biodiversity. Eutrophication is a process mostly associated with human activity whereby ecosystems accumulate minerals. This free course, Eutrophication, explains how this process occurs, what its effects on different types of habitat are, and how it might be managed.

Free course
12 hrs
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Earth's physical resources: petroleum free course icon Level 2 icon

Nature & Environment 

Earth's physical resources: petroleum

The discovery of the world's first major underground oil field in Pennsylvania, USA in 1859 sparked the continuing era of the world's reliance on cheap energy from oil and gas. This free course, Earth's physical resources: petroleum, begins by examining the geological characteristics of petroleum and the key ingredients necessary to form oil and gas accumulations. Then there is a brief description of industrial operations during the life cycle of an oil field, starting with subsurface analysis and exploration drilling. The course also highlights the role of safety and environmental management as an integral part of the petroleum business and concludes with a short review of global resources and non-conventional petroleum.

Free course
12 hrs
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The science of nuclear energy free course icon Level 1 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

The science of nuclear energy

This free course, The science of nuclear energy, will delve into the science behind nuclear power and explain what happens inside a nuclear reactor and what it means for an element to be radioactive. It will explore some of the risks of producing nuclear power and examine the arguments for and against including it in future energy planning as well as looking at other potential future solutions.

Free course
12 hrs
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