Where Can I Learn Key Concepts In Climate Science?

Have you seen a documentary about climate change and the impact it’s having in communities around the world? If so, you likely understand how the greenhouse effect works. You’ve probably also seen important climate science graphs that reflect how much carbon dioxide is accumulating in the atmosphere or the rate of retreat for many of the world’s largest glaciers.

But how do people who practice climate science come up with and make sense of these graphs? The following free online courses provide insight into key concepts in climate science. Each course is self-paced and developed by experts in the field.

  1. Climate Change: The Science | Available on the University of British Columbia’s edX platform, this course is taught by oceanographer and paleoclimate expert Dr. Sara Harris. Topics covered:
    • carbon and energy flows
    • climate modelling
    • climate history
    • forecasting
  2. Introductory e-Course On Climate Change | This course is offered through One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership. You’ll need to set up an account to take this course, but it’s free and takes under a minute. The e-course is broken down into six two-hour segments, the first of which deals with climate science. But why not take part in the entire course? Topics covered:
    • climate science
    • climate policy
    • climate change adaptation
    • climate change mitigation
    • climate finance

    Those who complete this course are awarded a certificate.

  3. Atmosphere, Ocean and Environmental Change | Offered by Yale’s Dr. Ronald Smith, this is a full length course that goes into greater detail on the natural laws that effect Earth’s atmosphere and oceans. This course can be downloaded through the iTunes U app. Topics covered:
    • introduction to atmospheres
    • retaining an atmosphere
    • perfect gas law
    • vertical structure of the atmosphere
    • Earth systems analysis
    • greenhouse effect
    • hydrostatic balance
    • horizontal transport
    • water in the atmosphere
    • clouds an precipitation
    • coriolis force
    • convective storms
    • frontal cyclones
    • seasons
    • ocean bathymetry
    • ice
    • evidence for climate change
    • ocean currents
    • global warming
    • climate sensitivity and human populations
    • energy resources
    • renewable energy

Are there other courses you’d recommend to the online community? Which topics do you look forward to learning more about?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *