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Climate change – a new online course free!

Posted by on December 16th 2013

“Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions. A FREE online course from the University of Exeter

Our very first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) begins on 13th January 2014 on the Open University’s FutureLearn platform, and lasts for eight weeks.

The free course is open to absolutely everybody – whether you are a student considering coming to university or are simply interested in learning more about climate change. The course is delivered entirely online covering a different topic each week.

Course content

‘Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions’ has been produced by eight leading academics from the University of Exeter – from mathematicians to marine biologists – and is led by Tim Lenton, Professor of Climate Change and Earth System Science, working in partnership with the UK Met Office.

The aims of the course are to explain the science of climate change, the risks it poses, and the solutions available to reduce those risks. It sets contemporary human-caused climate change within the context of past nature climate variability, balancing the ‘bad news’ about climate change impacts on natural and human systems with the ‘good news’ about potential solutions. These solutions can help avoid the most dangerous climate changes and increase the resilience of societies and ecosystems to those climate changes that cannot be avoided.

This course is an exciting opportunity for you to examine climate change from a fresh new perspective.

Here’s a flavour of some of the surprising questions we’ll be asking:-

  • Why is the Greenhouse Effect a bad metaphor for the process of atmospheric warming?
  • Why is one of the biggest threats to humanity – as a result of climate change – a tiny fungus?
  • Why might the Sahara Desert be transformed from arid sand into lush vegetation?
  • How exactly could the climate be engineered to put a stop to global warming?

Examining the challenges of climate change and developing solutions that mitigate its risks requires a whole range of different skills. That’s why we have assembled an inter-disciplinary team of geographers, mathematicians, biologists, marine biologists, meteorologists and glacierologists from both the University of Exeter and our partners at the UK Met Office.”