Published on Oct 22, 2013: Global Warming Science / An introduction to the physics of the climate system and the basic science underpinning discussions of anthropogenic climate change.
Register for Global Warming Science from MITx athttp://edx.org/courses.
ABOUT THIS COURSE
12.340x introduces the basic science underpinning our knowledge of the climate system, how climate has changed in the past, and how it may change in the future. The course focuses on the fundamental energy balance in the climate system, between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infrared radiation, and how this balance is affected by greenhouse gases. We will also discuss physical processes that shape the climate, such as atmospheric and oceanic convection and large-scale circulation, solar variability, orbital mechanics, and aerosols, as well as the evidence for past and present climate change. We will discuss climate models of varying degrees of complexity, and you will be able to run a model of a single column of the Earth’s atmosphere, which includes many of the important elements of simulating climate change. Together, this range of topics forms the scientific basis for our understanding of anthropogenic (human-influenced) climate change.
We will not cover issues regarding policy responses to climate change. Rather, Global Warming Science is designed to be a strictly scientific introduction to this important topic.
12.340x is geared toward students with some mathematical and scientific background, but does not require any prior knowledge of climate or atmospheric science. See the prerequisites section for more details.
The course will be divided into weekly sections which will be released sequentially. Each section will include a set of lecture videos and practice exercises that students will be expected to work through. Additional background readings may be assigned, all of which will be sourced from material freely available online. The course will be graded based on weekly online problem sets, as well as an online final exam.
New climate science MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses): The course is geared toward students with some mathematical and scientific background, but does not require any prior knowledge of climate or atmospheric science. Classes begin on February 19th and run for 12 weeks. Students may simply audit the course, or complete problems sets and a final exam to receive a certificate of completion. The course is free, and one can register for it here.
There are other climate science courses available too:
- David’s course Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change is starting again March 31.
- A course Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4ºC Warmer World Must be Avoided from the World Bank (presented by Kanta Kumari Rigaud and Pablo Benitez, and including input from Stefan). This started Jan 24.
- Richard Alley has a new 8-week course Energy, the Environment, and Our Future which started on Jan 6. (More background here).
- Update:Climate change: challenges and solutions from Tim Lenton, U. Exeter
- Update:Climate Change in Four Dimensions from Charles Kennel, Naomi Oreskes, Veerabhadran Ramanathan, Richard Somerville and David G. Victor, UCSD.