Earth in the Future: Predicting Climate Change and Its Impacts Over the Next Century (3) Climate predictions for the coming century are utilized to examine potential impacts on regions, sectors of society, and natural ecosystems.
EARTH 103 Earth in the Future: Predicting Climate Change and It's Impacts Over the Next Century (3)
(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.
The United States is actively working on national assessment of the impacts of the climate change predicted to occur over the next century. The U.S. National Assessment has developed three major documents, an Overview written for Congress, a Foundation document giving the sources of information and their interpretation, and a series of regional (e.g. Northeast, Midwest, etc) and sector (water, health, agriculture, forests, and coastlines) reports. These reports present an exceptional opportunity to connect advances in the natural sciences to society. The course has four major objectives: (1) to gain an understanding of climate science and of the possible scenarios of how climate may change in the future. [the basis for these scenarios and their limitations will be an important element]; (2) to analyze the linkages between climate and major human and natural systems (e.g. agriculture, human health, water, coastal ecosystems, and forests), necessary to assess the potential impacts of climate change; (3) to demonstrate that the impacts of climate change, and the way in which society responds, is dependent on factors such as age, economic capability, lifestyle (e.g. urban vs. rural), generational differences, and cultural differences; and (4) to understand the different types of responses that humans may have to climate change, including adaptations to change and possible mechanisms to mitigate the factors that are forcing change to occur.
The course includes smaller enrollment computer laboratory/discussion sessions designed to (1) provide hands-on data analysis and interpretation and the exploration of climate linkages to natural and human systems; (2) promote discussion and formal debate around key issues; and (3) develop tools to assess class perceptions of vulnerabilities and appropriate responses. Several of these elements will be developed with a team or group approach. Grading will be based primarily on a student record, or portfolio, stemming from a combination of lab exercises, written material, and debate materials. Tests on lecture material will be a secondary evaluation mechanism. This course fulfills a Natural Sciences General Education requirement, as well as course requirements for the Earth major. It provides a natural partner to Earth-as-a-System (Earth 002) that focuses on Earth system concepts and the scientific evidence for a changing planet throughout Earth history and into the future.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.