• GG 312: Global Climate Change and Environmental Impacts (Fall 2002)

    Ranga B. Myneni
    Department of Geography
    Room 449
    Stone Science Building
    675 Commonwealth Avenue

    Svetlana Kotchenova
    Department of Geography
    Stone Science Building
    675 Commonwealth Avenue

    Class Web Site
    GG 312 Fall 2002 Class Web Site

    Textbooks (Recommended)
    Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis
    J.T. Houghton et al.
    Cambridge University Press
    (ISBN 0521-01495-6 Paperback)

    Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change
    J.T. Houghton, L.G. Meira Filho, B.A. Callander, N. Harris, A. Kattenberg and K. Maskell
    Cambridge University Press
    (ISBN 0-521-56436-0)

    Other Scholarly Books (Recommended)
    Is The Temperature Rising?
    S. George Philander
    Princeton University Press
    (ISBN 0-691-05775-3)

    Global Warming
    John Houghton
    Cambridge University Press
    (ISBN 0-521-62932)

    Books by Journalists (Recommended)
    The Heat Is On
    Ross Gelbspan
    Perseus Books
    (ISBN 0-7382-0025-5)

    The Change in the Weather: People, Weather, and the Science of Climate
    William K. Stevens
    Delacorte Press
    ISBN: 0-385-32012-4

    Course Description
    This course teaches concepts and current thinking on global climate change and environmental impacts, with material from IPCC 1995 and 2001 assessments, plus diverse other sources. The course emphasizes physical, biogeochemical and ecological underpinnings of climate change and environmental impacts. The course material consists of eight chapters and is taught as follows:

    1. Overview of the climate system
    2. Radiative forcing of climate change
    3. Observed climate variability and change
    4. Climate models and their evaluation
    5. Projections of future climate
    6. Detection and attribution of climate change
    7. Biotic responses to climate change & Sea Level Change
    8. Impacts, adaptations and mitigation of climate change

    The subject matter is quantitative and self-contained. Students are assumed to have taken GG101 (Natural Environments) or an introductory course on global climates.

    Notes for this class will be made available via the web. It is essential that all students know how to use the web.

    Additional Readings
    Topical papers will be assigned for reading through out the semester. These usually tend to be from the current issues of scientific magazines like Natur and Science. There will be at least one handout per class meeting. You should read these handouts in a timely manner. The monthly quizzes will be on class readings only.

    Students are required to complete two assignments. One of these is a research assignment, about 10 pages, on a theme related to the course. This shall be a cogent synthesis from multiple sources on, for example, the impacts of ENSO events on US climate. The research assignment is due 1st December 2000. The second assignment is a seminar of about 10 minutes on a climate change topic of student's choice. These seminars will be in the class. The students are advised to select topics and dates early on in the semester. All seminar assignments must be done by the end of November. The midterm will be approximately half-way through the term.

    Quizzes (15%)
    Research Assignment (15%)
    Seminar Assignment (20%)
    Midterm (20%)
    Final (30%)

    Important Dates
    First Quiz: Sep-26-2002
    Second Quiz: Oct-24-2002
    Third Quiz: Nov-21-2002
    Midterm: Oct-31-2002
    Seminar Assignment: Nov-28-2002
    Research Assignment: Dec-03-2002
    Final: TBD

    Attendance is compulsory. Exams will not be repeated. Deadlines are firm. Policies regarding academic honesty and incomplete grades are dictated by the College. Please consult the CAS student handbook.