Climate Change: Science & Impacts (Geog/AOS/NIES 332)

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Course Description


Climate change is underway and will continue into the foreseeable future. Climate change is caused by a combination of natural processes and human alterations of the earth system, with the latter increasing in importance. Because climate directly or indirectly affects all aspects of our lives (and vice versa), it is essential for 21st-century citizens to be knowledgeable about climate science and policy. This course offers a fundamental understanding of how and why global warming is happening, and what to expect in the future. Together, we will investigate and discuss the evidence for climate change, the interplay among human and physical drivers, the science that explains these observations, predicted impacts on humans and ecosystems, and proposed solutions.

We intentionally teach to a broad range of students in this class, from majors in the environmental sciences and related fields to students pursuing degrees in international studies, economics, and communications to students simply interested in the topic. This intermediate-level course draws extensively on the findings from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports (IPCC 2007 and 2013) and consists of a mixture of lectures, discussions, and self-directed exploration of on-line and published resources. An introductory background in earth system or atmospheric science (Geography/IES 120, 127; AOS 100, 101, or equivalent) is helpful but not required. This course fulfills the physical science requirement.

This public website provides a copy of the course syllabus and external links... students taking this course can access additional resources through Learn@UW.