Session 1


Review of Climate Change in the Past and Future World

The climate of planet earth has been changing ever since its emergence as a planet in our solar system over four billion years ago.  Many of these climates have been strikingly different from our own and totally unsurvivable by humans or any other mammal species.  The forces driving the changes in Earth’s climate have been both endogenous and exogenous over geological time.  In recent history, since the onset of the industrial revolution (with its intensified use of fossil fuels), human behavior has become a major forcing factor in transforming the relatively stable climate of the Holocene into the climate of the Anthropocene.  In this first class the basic geological concepts involved in Earth’s changing climate are introduced and discussed.

Resource Materials

Six Degrees of Warming
National Geographic Magazine, with Mark Lynas
In addition, please 1) download and install "Google Earth" on whatever machine you have regular access to for your work in this course. Finally, once you have done that, then 2) please click on the link to the following materials:

Beginning "Pin" for Cyprus Climate Workshop. Please click on this link, and when the destination comes into focus, click on the yellow pin. .

Please note: It is this kind of Google location "pin" and "information baloon" that you will each be expected to create to locate yourself or your project to complete the assignment for Wednesday, 12 June.

Further materials for thought...
Voice of America
"Report Says Significant Climate Change Ahead for US," Voice of America (VOA), 29 May 2008.
Consider the converging crises we now face...
  What is the appropriate context for studying climate change? What is the nature of "our moment"? In other words, in what continuum should we start to view our changing climate?
"Picture This..."
  [Who is saying this? Why is this significant...? Should you pay attention to this? If so, why? If not, why not?]
What are other experts saying about the converging crises...?
Consider the recent work of Gus Speth, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

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