Online course

Climate Change: The Science

Learn about the science of climate change, the risks it poses and how human activity is changing our world.

Learn what climate change is, and how it affects the planet

Climate Change poses an increasing threat to the stability of Earth’s systems. If we want to protect our planet from dangerous and unprecedented change, first we must understand the science behind climate change.

On this course you will explore this science, looking back across 4 billion years of Earth’s history to help you learn the difference between ‘natural’ from ‘human’ induced change; looking to the present to see how the impacts of climate change are already being felt; and finally looking to the future to see what it might hold for our planet.

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1 - Feedbacks

  • Introduction to Climate Science
  • Fundamental feedbacks in the Climate System
  • Human drivers of change

Week 2 - Evidence

  • Ancient past climate change
  • Recent past climate change
  • Identifying signs of climate change

Week 3 - Impacts

  • Impacts on the Cryosphere
  • Impacts on the Oceans

Week 4 - Future

  • Modelling future climate projections
  • The ‘Anthropocene’ and the ‘Great Acceleration’
  • Taking action

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Describe the key principles of climate change
  • Explore past climate change
  • Identify signs of climate change
  • Explain impacts on land and ocean systems
  • Discuss future projections and modelling future scenarios

Who is the course for?

You don’t need any prior knowledge of climate change, just an interest in science, nature and the environment.

Who will you learn with?

Tim Lenton

Professor Tim Lenton is Chair in Climate Change/Earth System Science at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on understanding the behaviour of the Earth as a whole system.

Damien Mansell

Senior Lecturer at The University of Exeter specialising in Glaciology, GIS and Remote Sensing
Educator on Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions
Find me on twitter @DamienMansell

Liam Taylor

PhD student researching the impacts of climate change on our world

MOOC producer for University of Exeter Geography department

@LTaylor1995

http://awildgeographer.wordpress.com/

Who developed the course?

The University of Exeter is a Russell Group university. It combines world-class research with very high levels of student satisfaction.

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Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.
Introductory offer. Available until 11 May 2019. T&Cs apply.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: