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San Diego Scientists Offer Free Online Course On Climate Change

The Harris Fire burns down Mount Miguel in San Diego County on Oct. 23, 2007.
David S. Roberts
The Harris Fire burns down Mount Miguel in San Diego County on Oct. 23, 2007.

Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography are offering the general public a free, massive open online course (MOOC) on global climate change. The 10-week non-credit course, "Climate Change in Four Dimensions: Scientific, Policy, International, and Social,” begins April 8.

Course Syllabus:

Week 1: Basic Science of Climate Change

Week 2: The Nature of Scientific Knowledge

Week 3: Climate Change Mitigation

Week 4: International dimensions of climate change

Week 5: The Impacts of Climate Change

Week 6: What May Be in Store For The World?

Week 7: How The Public Views Climate Change

Week 8: How Regions Are Preparing To Adapt

Week 9: What We Can Do, Part 1

Week 10: What We Can Do, Part 2

The course includes a series of 19 video lectures given by distinguished UC San Diego professors Charles Kennel, Naomi Oreskes, Richard Somerville, and David Victor, with an additional presentation by Scripps climate and atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan.

Participants will “explore climate change from four perspectives, share ideas about what you’re learning with other participants all around the world using social media and participate in live webinars that give you a chance to ask questions,” stated a course description.

The course was first offered in January 2014, where more than 14,000 people participated.

Professional certificate credit is available for a nominal fee via a companion course offered directly by UC San Diego Extension.

Researchers have warned for years of climate change's potential effects, including higher sea levels, flooding of low-lying major cities, and increasing extreme weather events.

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report warns corn and wheat yields are down, threatening to disrupt the global food supply; warming temperatures are causing animals to migrate to cooler regions; mountain snowpack in the western U.S. is diminishing and reducing the water supply; droughts and heat waves are becoming more frequent; and ocean ecosystems are in peril, including coral reefs, which shelter a quarter of all marine species.