Institute Course:
3 June - 14 June 2013
Limassol Cyprus
& HSPH, Landmark Center

Timothy C. Weiskel, DPhil
Harvard University Extension School
Research Director

Cambridge Climate Research Associates

2012 - Class Work
2013 - Class Work


Course Description:

     This introductory course will give students an integrated overview of the science of climate change and an analysis of the implications of this change for patterns of daily life in their own circumstance and around the world.

     Humankind is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis of global proportions. Scientists from across the world have issued stark warnings about the potential disruption and destabilization that changes in Earth’s climate will most likely cause in the near future for the life systems upon which modern civilization depends. The social and political implications of climate change have begun to become apparent as local communities in widely different parts of the world struggle to adapt to new patterns of excessive rainfall, prolonged droughts and severe weather events. Internationally, nation states have endeavored to forge diplomatic agreements to help humankind cope with both the causes and consequences of global climate change.

     This course has three principal objectives. First, it will introduce students to the science of climate change, drawing attention to the latest research and evolving pattern of scientific data that has emerged on climate in recent years. Second, emphasis will be given to analyzing the social changes and adaptations that human communities have already made and those they will most likely to have to make as the Earth’s climate continues to change in the coming years. Finally, specific attention will be given to the diplomatic efforts that have been launched since the creation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) during the first world-wide Earth Summit on the environment in Rio de Janeiro in June of 1992.


June Course Schedule

Session Date Topic


3 June 2013

3:00-6:00 PM

Review of Climate Change in the Past and Future World

To begin, please...

  1) Download and install a copy of "Google Earth."
and 2) Click on and install to your Google Earth. Then click on the CII-Classrooms and Offices. We will discuss the way in which we will be using Google Earth as a means of sharing our climate research together and VoiceThread presentations together.
Further support material for Session 1

4 June 2013

3:00-6:00 PM

The Science of Climate History & The History of Climate Science - The Problem of Perception and Cultural Lag-Time
    Further support material for Session 2
    Assignment 1 - Instructions

5 June 2013

3:00-6:00 PM

The Organization and Evolution of the IPCC Scientific Review Process
    Further support material for Session 3

6 June 2013

3:00-6:00 PM

"Northern" and "Southern" Perspectives on Global Climate Changes

    Further support material for Session 4

Assignment 2: Create a new entry in an account you establish in VoiceThread. The slide should have the topic or title of your "Practicum" project. Save the URL of the "thread" and place it in a Word Document which you at then to save and "upload" to your personal "Dropbox" which is shared with Prof. Weiskel.
    This should be completed by the end of class on Thursday, 6 June.


7June 2013

3:00-6:00 PM

The Mounting Evidence and Increased Urgency: Alarm from The Cryosphere
    Further support material for Session 5

Assignment 3: “Self Location” exercise due – KMZ file created in Google Earth.  To be submitted in a word document that should be uploaded to the dropbox you share with Professor Weiskel by class time on 10 June 2013.


Take Home Quiz

10 June 2013

3:00-6:00 PM

The Environmental Impact of Climate Change - Global and Local Water Issues
    Further support material for Session 6

11 June 2013

3:00-5:00 PM

Climate Change and the Evolution of Global Agriculture
    Further support material for Session 7

12 June 2013

3:00-5:00 PM

Climate Change Challenges and Geo-Engineering Responses
    Further support material for Session 8

13 June 2013

3:00-5:00 PM

Localized Changes in Climate & The Implications for The Mediterranean and the Middle East
    Further support material for Session 9

Assignment 4: For Friday, 14 June, please submit the "TITLE" of your paper topic (in the form of a preliminary Title Page) to your "dropbox." Please remember to use the dropbox that I "invited" you to join. Bring that title to class as well.

Eventually, your individual research papers should be approximately 10 pages in length and developed according to the Guidelines for Research Paper and Presentation Topics


14 June 2013

3:00-5:00 PM

Steps toward undertaking research on climate change issues...
    Further support material for Session 10

Assignment 5: For Friday, 14 June, please come to class with a list of the sources YOU would turn to and draw upon for your own research on climate.

We will share these resources in discussion and create a list of useful materials for you each to explore as you undertake your research for the course paper and VoiceThread presentation.



Core Course Reading Material

Particular material appropriate for each individual session
will be placed on the web page for each appropriate Session
(See "Further support material" links for Sessions 1 through 14 above)

Assigned Reading for the individual sessions indicated above will be drawn from but not limited to:


Spencer Weart




The Discovery of Global Warming (Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 2008 [with online support material.].






Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)




Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis: Summary for Policymakers [Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (This Summary for Policymakers was formally approved at the 10th Session of Working Group I of the IPCC, Paris, February 2007.)], (Geneva, Switzerland, IPCC, 2 February 2007), especially:  Summary for Policymakers & Technical Summary








Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report—Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report— Synthesis Report for Policymakers. UNFCCC. (17 November 2007)






National Research Council




America's Climate Choices, 2011 (National Academy of Sciences, 2011)


The Unassigned, Required Reading & Listening/Viewing