Climate change

Climate change

Course provided by Open University

Summary overview

  • Online anytime

  • 18 hours study time

  • Environment and agriculture

  • Free

  • Level NA

About this course

Climate change is a key issue on today's social and political agenda. This free course explores the basic science that underpins climate change and global warming.

Learning outcomes

  1. Understand the physical basis of the natural greenhouse effect, including the meaning of the term 'radiative forcing'.
  2. Know something of the way various human activities are increasing emmissions of the natural greenhouse gases, and are also contributing to sulphate aerosols in the troposphere.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of the difficulties involved in the detection of any unusual global warming ‘signal’ above the ‘background noise’ of natural variability in the Earth's climate and of attributing (in whole or in part) any such signal to human activity.
  4. Understand that although a growing scientific consensus has become established through the IPCC, the complexities and uncertainties of the science provide opportunity for climate sceptics to challenge the Panel's findings.