• University of Exeter

Climate Change: The Science

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

23,265 enrolled on this course

Climate Change: The Science
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours

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?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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?

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.

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

PhD student researching the impacts of climate change on our world

Course producer for University of Exeter Global Systems Institute

@LTaylor1995

http://awildgeographer.wordpress.com/

Who developed the course?

University of Exeter

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

Learning on FutureLearn

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  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

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  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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