Climate Science

This course begins with studies of Earth’s climate system and how it works across a range of scales of time and space. These include investigations of the circulations of the ocean and atmosphere and their dynamic interactions such as El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), monsoons, and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO); carbon and other biogeochemical cycles; radiation balance, the greenhouse effect, and other factors that force climate to change; and feedbacks in the climate system. Students further explore past climates and how they give us insight into our present predicament.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Fundamental understanding of the workings of the climate system and the science of climate change
  • Appreciation of the methods and rationale of science, importance of observations, and nature of evidence and scientific uncertainty
  • Ability to understand and synthesize papers from the primary scientific literature published in journals such as Science and Nature
  • Skill in critically thinking about scientific arguments