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Global Climate Change

E&ES 359
Spring 2010 not offered
Certificates: Environmental Studies

The climate of the earth has been changing over the course of Earth history. Over the last few decades, we have come to realize that humans may be the strongest driver of climate change in the 20th century and near future. In this class we evaluate that hypothesis in some depth, using the basic physical principles of climate science. We then study the long and short carbon cycles and the empirical climate record, with data from the instrumental, historical, and physical (pollen, geochemical/isotopic temperature indicators) records. In a second section of the course, we look at the impact of humans on atmospheric chemistry and how human civilization has caused changes in the carbon cycle. In the third part of the lecture course, we will study the climate of the future, using economic scenarios, mitigation and adaptation efforts, and climate/economics models that can help us to look forward. Parallel to the lectures, several practical sessions are done by groups of students: experimental work on the absorption of CO2 into water, possibly seawater (for the geochemically inclined); the impact of raised CO2 levels on plant growth (for the biologically inclined); a monitoring effort of CO2 outside the science tower (for the instrumentalists); and a social economic global assessment on carbon policies (for the environmental studies types).

Essential Capabilities: None
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: NSM E&ES
Course Format: LectureGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CIS)(E&ES)(ENVS-MN)(ENVS)

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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