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University of Colorado Boulder

What is Climate Change?

University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera

Overview

In this course, learners will become familiar with the scientific evidence that demonstrates human-caused climate change. We will explore how greenhouse gases cause the Earth to warm, and why our recent warming is attributed to human activities. We will also discuss where our climate is headed, including anticipated future temperature, precipitation, and sea level. Learners will engage with the consequences of these changes on our ecosystems, infrastructure, and communities. We will also identify how political beliefs influence our attitudes about climate change, and apply that knowledge to become better climate communicators.

Syllabus

  • The Climate System and Climate Change
    • Climate change is real. Scientists agree that human activities are causing the climate to change. Warming will continue in the 21st century, and the amount of warming will be determined by our emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • Impacts of Climate Change
    • The net impact of climate change on ecosystems, infrastructure, and communities is expected to be negative. Many impacts are already occurring, and we expect future warming to exacerbate their effects.
  • Attitudes About Climate Change
    • To stay informed about climate change, it is important to know where to get credible information. It’s also important to understand how scientific information is unique from other types of knowledge. Also, it can be helpful to recognize that others’ opinions on climate are heavily influenced by political affiliation. When engaging with others on climate, information needs to be tailored to take into account your audiences concerns and world views.

Taught by

Joseph Casola

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