Summer 2008
Fully Enrolled

SCIE 637
Climate Change

O'Connell,Suzanne B.

08/11/2008 - 08/15/2008
Monday-Friday 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM

Science Tower 72

Earth's climate is not static. Even without human intervention, the climate has changed. In this course we will study the components and interactions of the climate system today. Then we will explore how changes in these components create different climate regimes and look at the ecosystem response to rapid climate changes recorded in Earth's history. The last day and a half will be spent examining the influence of increased greenhouse gases on today's climate and biosphere. What mitigation and adaptations are necessary to live in a warmer world with different water resources?

Students will have the opportunity to use an early version of the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS) general circulation model (GCM) climate model, which is available free on the internet.

There will be one or two field trips, depending on weather and student interest.

The text for this course will be William Ruddiman's Earth's Climate, Past and Future. The second edition (2007) of this text is preferred, but the first edition (2001) is acceptable. For teachers, all figures in the second edition are available on line.

Evaluation will be based on class participation and completion of assignments.

Prior to the first class meeting, students are expected to read a popular climate book of his or her own choosing and come to class prepared to briefly discuss the book (e.g. The Two Mile Time Machine by Richard Alley). A list of possible titles will be available prior to enrollment.

Suzanne O'Connell (B.A. Oberlin College; M.S. SUNY Albany; Ph.D. Columbia University) is associate professor of earth and environmental sciences. Her research focuses on marine geology and continental margin sedimentology, with emphasis on areas in coastal Connecticut, the Caribbean, and Antarctica. The Association for Women Geoscientists named her the 2001 Outstanding Educator. She is the primary or contributing author of over 152 publications, with five in press, most recently: "Connecting urban students with their rivers generates interest and skills in the geosciences," published in the Journal of Geoscience Education. Click here for more information about Suzanne O'Connell.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
William Ruddiman, EARTH'S CLIMATE: PAST AND FUTURE (Freeman), Paperback


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