This course explores the basic concepts and terms needed to understand the science of climate change, and the available mitigation, adaptation and policy options. By the end of the course, students will be able to:
This course provides the scientific basics of climate change paired with the response options (mitigation and adaptation) and policy landscape. Focusing exclusively on the science of climate change may not allow a nuanced understanding of the social implications of this science. Similarly, political or economic analyses of climate change frequently neglect the underlying mechanics behind climate change thresholds, feedbacks, and the potential for abrupt change. This course explores linkages between climate change and other pressing priorities such as human health, poverty, community livability, economic resilience, and other environmental problems (such as biodiversity and water quality). Acknowledging the urgent need to design innovative strategies that realize multiple objectives (or co-benefits) simultaneously, the course explores the particular capacity for sustainability and climate change to provide an avenue for achieving these objectives.
Climate literacy is delivered in ten modules. The first half of the course deals mainly with climate change science and models, while the second half of the course speaks to climate change impacts, response options, and polices. The modules are as follows: