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Climate Change, Risks and Challenges

What is this course about?

Climate change exists. The first signs of change are clearly evident. Extreme weather conditions around the world are becoming increasingly frequent and the Arctic ice is disappearing. The temperature increase can be felt in our everyday lives.

These and other phenomena will intensify and have a more or less drastic effect on our living conditions. Our climate is our future. The changes in our environment are disconcerting and raise a few questions ...

  • Can we adapt to the impacts of this event?
  • How can we interpret these and similar observations?
  • To what causes can we attribute the changes?
  • What predictions can we possibly make?
  • What can I myself do?

A group of leading German scientists from renowned research facilities asks these questions here in our MOOC.

Our key speakers are:

  • Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
  • Prof. Dr. Jochem Marotzke from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Michael Schulz from the MARUM, Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Hermann Lotze­-Campen from the PIK, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Prof. Dr. Anita Engels from the CliSAP, Cluster of Excellence 'Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction' at the Universität Hamburg (choose EN for English version)
  • Prof. Dr. Gernot Klepper from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Other climate specialists, from a range of other disciplines, paint a fuller picture with their scientific expertise. Some lessons also include exclusive interviews and guest contributions from other countries.

Our experts will provide the scientific basis for climate change and its impacts, sometimes the subject of heated discussion, in accordance with the internationally recognized standard, the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change) is the body in which scientists from all over the world come together to assess the global situation.

Trailer des Climate Chance, Risks and Challenges MOOCs

What do you learn in this course?

  • By enrolling and actively participating in the course, you will acquire a sound basic understanding of the climate system and climate change, and the associated complex contexts.
  • You will learn to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic (man-made) impacts on the climate system and the natural climate fluctuations. This distinction is important to be able to better assess the causes of climate change.
  • You will learn to categorise the impacts of anthropogenic climate change on nature and society correctly.
  • You will also get an overview of the available options for action.
  • Incidentally, you will learn a lot about the major scientific methods in climate research. This will help you to distinguish between the views of certain interest groups on the topic and reliable scientific knowledge in future.
  • In addition, once you have finished the course, you will know where to find reliable sources for scientific information and objective representations, since you will be familiar with the major scientific institutions in climate research and renowned German researchers.

Last but not least, you will meet many interesting people with similar interests and questions to yours. This course will help you meet new contacts and get connected to the community.

How is the course structured?

There are six chapters in this MOOC. These are the contents at a glance:

  • Climate system and climate change
  • Models and scenarios
  • The climate in the past
  • Impacts of climate change
  • Climate change as a societal challenge
  • Climate change in politics and economy



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