Global Climate Change 101
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An Introduction to Global Climate Change
The increasing reference to climate-related events in news are suggesting storms, droughts, and other weather related phenomenon are happening more frequently. Images flashed across our televisions of disintegrating ice shelves, displaced wildlife, flooded cities, wind-torn towns, and human casualties give us the percept that the planet is irrecoverably damaged and is the result of humanity's endeavors.

Yet we are often reminded by the scientific community that climate is and has always been changing. So is the world really getting warmer? And if it is, is the warming unusual or part of the normal fluctuations of a complex global system? Are human activates causing or exacerbating the current climate trends? And has any of the observed warming actually made a difference to global ecosystems, water resources, and/or human societies?

Climate change will affect the lives of everybody on the planet in various ways, either through a change in the global common resource that the climate, and the ecosystems that depend on it, represents, or through policies aimed at reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and thus limiting the rate and magnitude of climate change. We, as educators, strive at preparing our students to function in a world filled with challenges and change. Are our students prepared?

The goal of this course is to present sound scientific information that can support good decision-making for yourself both personally and professionally. Have said that, it is the ultimate goal to take away from here a foundational understanding of current climate trends and bring them into your classroom.

You are invited to study the topics presented, do further research into each idea, and to present your findings and thoughts in an open and constructive dialog.

The following is an hour long BBC program presenting Professors Iain Stewart and Professor Kathy Sykes. They lead us through a timely look at global warming ahead of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, exploring the world's leading climate scientists' vision of the planet's future. It is a good broad introduction to Global Climate Change.