Goals and Learning Outcomes
On completing this module, students are expected to be able to:
- describe climate trends from recent changes in temperature, atmospheric water content and glacier length and mass;
- explain the difference between weather, climate and the importance of time scales when looking at climate data;
- infer temperature trends from instrumental and borehole data.
After completing this module, students should be able to answer the following questions:
- How was climate related to the rise and fall of the Mayans?
- What were the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age?
- What is the difference between weather and climate?
- How are global temperatures calculated?
- Where is the “blade” of the Hockey Stick and what is the change in global temperature since then?
- What is El Niño-Southern Oscillation and how does it impact global climate?
- How do volcanic eruptions impact global temperatures?
- In what latitudes has temperature increased most since 1880?
- How do boreholes reflect temperature change?
- How and why do ocean temperatures change differently from air temperatures?
- How has the water content of the atmosphere changed in the last 40 years and why?
- How has global precipitation changed over the last few decades?
- How has the frequency and intensity of large storms changed recently?
- Where in the US has drought increased since 1950?
- How are changes in ice sheet area determined?
- How has the volume of ice on glaciers changed recently?
- How has Arctic sea ice changed recently?