From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming (3) Examination of global warming and climate change: the basic science, projects, impacts, and approaches to mitigation.
METEO 469 From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming (3)
Human-caused climate change represents one of the great environmental challenges of our time. As it is inextricably linked with issues of energy policy, a familiarity with the fundamentals of climate change is therefore critical for those looking to careers in the energy field. To appreciate the societal, environmental, and economic implications of policies governing greenhouse gas emissions, one must further understand the basic underlying science. METEO 469 serves to lay down the fundamental scientific principles behind climate change and global warming. A firm grounding in the science is then used as a launching point for exploring issues involving climate change impacts and mitigation. METEO 469 will introduce students to the basic information necessary for understanding Earth’s climate, including the relevant atmospheric processes, and aspects of other key components of the climate system such as the cryosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Students will learn how to do basic computations and to use theoretical models of the climate system of varying complexity to address questions regarding future climate change. Students, further, will explore the impacts of various alternative greenhouse gas emissions scenarios and investigate policies that would allow for appropriate stabilization of future greenhouse gas concentrations. The structure of the course roughly parallels the treatment of the subject matter by the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), focusing first on the basic science, then the future projections and their potential impacts, and finally issues involving adaptation, vulnerability, and mitigation. METEO 469 will combine digital video, audio, simulation models, virtual field trips to on-line data resources, text, and interactive quizzes that provide instantaneous feedback.