Along with David’s online class a number of new climate science Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are now coming online.
A new online course from MIT, “Global Warming Science”, 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. They 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. Climate models of varying degrees of complexity are available for students to run – including 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.
The introduction video gives a flavour of the course, which is presented by Kerry Emanuel, Dan Cziczo and David McGee:
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.