Penn State NASA

Goals and Learning Outcomes


Goals and Learning Outcomes


On completing this module, students are expected to be able to:

  • describe the impact of climate and other anthropogenic changes on different sources of food;
  • predict how climate change and changing land use will impact food supply in different regions;
  • project how trends in global population will impact supply of food in different parts of the globe;
  • propose strategies to cope with an increasingly hungry planet.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • How variable are projections for global population increase in the next century, and what is the cause of the uncertainty?
  • What are Thomas Malthus’ predictions and why they are largely right?
  • What are the projections of climate change on food supply of different regions and developing versus developed world?
  • What are the causes and magnitude of famines in the past?
  • What are the impacts of projected changes in different climatic and other variables (temperature, heat waves, precipitation, drought, CO2, ozone) on food supply?
  • What are the projected climate change impacts on food production in North America?
  • What are the projected changes in production by subsistence and smallholder agriculture, crops, pasture and livestock farms?
  • What are the problems facing fisheries, and how will fisheries change in the future?
  • What are the projections for insect pests and weeds and their impacts on agriculture?
  • What are the advantages of biofuels as an energy source, and what are the ethical and environmental problems?
  • What methods can be used to adapt to changing climate?
  • What are the causes of food security issues?