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Environmental Education: Climate Change - The Science

Learn about our dynamic climate, the causes of climate change and impacts of global warming in this free online course.

Publisher: EcoEd4All
Climate change is the defining socio-economic force of the 21st century and this free online course introduces you to the concepts, causes and impacts of global warming. Drawing on real-world examples and scientific data, you will explore the fundamentals of greenhouse gases, natural climate cycles and how we know that human actions are driving today’s climate crisis. In the face of change, an informed society is a more resilient society.
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation


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‘Climate Change – The Science’ is a free online course that introduces you to the basics of our climate system and explores the nature of today’s climate crisis. In the first section, you will learn how ‘climate’ is differentiated from everyday ‘weather’, and how what we experience as local climate is part of a planetary-scale flow of energy. This section also puts modern climate change into a broader context by elaborating on long-term, natural climate variability, such as the Ice Age cycle. It outlines how the stable and predictable conditions of the Holocene provided the foundation for our complex civilisations. Study how humankind came to realize the dynamic nature of Earth’s climate, replacing mythology with science as a means of explaining our landscapes. The material explores some of the key scientific concepts underscoring the role of greenhouse gasses, such as carbon dioxide, in regulating Earth’s temperature and how these vital gases work.

Against a background of rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activity, the next sections guide you through the dynamic response of Earth’s climate system to this growing energy imbalance and show you some of the most problematic anticipated impacts of global warming. Specific topics covered in these sections include the rise in sea levels and ecosystem disruption; extreme weather events such as drought and the polar vortex; and the potentially catastrophic phenomenon of ‘abrupt climate change.’ Via real-world examples and striking imagery, you will also witness the basic scientific evidence for anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change and learn to recognise both the scale of the modern climate crisis and the challenges and opportunities our current situation represents for coming generations.

Because climate change is the dominant socio-economic force right now, an informed working knowledge of our dynamic climate is an invaluable tool for anybody wanting to help shape society’s response to this greatest of challenges. Moreover, the chronicle of Earth’s climate is a fascinating subject that dominates every facet of our lives. Featuring video, text and images, coupled with audio recordings of the written course content to provide greater accessibility for students, ‘Climate Change – The Science’ is a novel, interactive, and ultimately positive introduction to the tempestuous phenomenon that we call ‘climate’. It will help you better understand both humanity’s impact on our environment and our collective responsibility for seeking a more sustainable future for life on Earth.

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