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  • Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • 3:15 PM–4:30 PM
  • Chapel
  • $30

This course is held twice weekly each Tuesday and Thursday, 3:15 p.m.–4:30 p.m., from October 15-October 24

The basic science of Earth’s climate system is well understood, as are the ways in which human activity is causing additional heating of the Earth’s surface through addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and land surface changes. The important questions that follow are (1) how much global heating will occur over the next 30 to 50 years and (2) how confident is the scientific community in its ability to predict that heating and associated changesin climate. We will explore the answers to these questions.

October 15: An introduction to the climate system. What determines the climate of a planet? How does an atmosphere warm the planetary surface? How does water regulate the temperature of Earth’s climate system?

October 17: Earth’s climate system. What are the basic features of Earth’s climate system? How do we observe climate? What determines climate variability on time scales of years to decades?

October 22: A brief survey of climate history over the last million years. Why are there ice ages? How much do carbon dioxide concentrations and surface temperature vary and what causes these variations? How precisely can we measure climate change over the past one to two thousand years and over the past hundred years?

October 24: Scenarios of climate heating. How will the climate change over the next 30 to 50 years due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and what will be the consequences of those changes? Are there ways to mitigate emissions? Is climate engineering a viable strategy?

**Note: this course is also available online. You can register through the CALL website for $30; no CALL membership is required. Online participants will receive a passcode one week before the course starts to watch the lectures live online and can text questions during each week’s Q&A time. (Registered online participants can also choose to watch the lectures at a later time if the live-broadcast time doesn't work in their schedule.)

Dr. Thomas Ackerman, leader, is professor emeritus of atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. For the past decade, he was the director of the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) at the University of Washington. From 1999 through 2006, he served as the chief scientist of DOE’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program and was a Battelle Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA. Dr. Ackerman is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal and the Leo Szilard Award for Science in the Public Interest, awarded by the American Physical Society.

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