From the earliest civilizations, humankind has been a major agent of environmental change. However, from the dawn of the industrial age, when fossil fuels were first tapped as an energy resource, the rate of this change has increased exponentially. In this course, we will discover how and why human activity influences climate change by examining the recent geologic record of our climate and by exploring processes that affect the climate in modern natural systems. We will then dissect the connection between climate dynamics and the Earth’s energy budget, and understand the extent to which humans are causing climate change. We will also discuss the impacts of climate change to present and future society by focusing on energy resources, including those that are renewable. Further, we will examine what can be done to mitigate the most adverse effects of climate change by exploring diverse issues that modern society faces with ongoing climate change. Three class meetings per week.
Limited to 48 students. Fall and spring semesters. Visiting Professor Kanamaru.