Penn StateNASA

Module Summary and Final Tasks

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End of Module Recap:

In this module, you should have mastered the following concepts:

  • the various economic costs of climate change, including a general estimate of how much those costs will amount to for different amounts of warming;
  • the costs of reducing carbon dioxide emissions;
  • the strategies for reducing emission, including cap and trade and a carbon tax;
  • the reasons why we need some kind of regulation scheme to control emissions, including the example of the tragedy of the commons;
  • the basic components and assumptions of the DICE model, including the concept of a discount rate;
  • adaptation to and mitigation of climate change will be of paramount importance in our future;
  • climate change will force us to adapt our agricultural systems, our water systems, our energy systems, our transportation systems, and our health systems to meet the challenges of rising sea level, increasing temperatures, increasingly intense storms, and increasing droughts in some regions;
  • there are plenty of examples of how to adapt to the changing climate, and progress is being made in many countries; the wealthy countries are much more likely to successfully make these adaptations; poorer countries will have a harder time and will require increased assistance from the wealthier countries that have contributed more to the causes of climate change;
  • climate change will lead to migration/relocation of people on a scale that we may not have seen before — there is the potential for 200 million climate migrants by the year 2050; a disproportionate number of people live within the Low Elevation Coastal Zone, and their continued existence in these locations will not be viable as sea level rises;
  • geoengineering schemes that seek to either remove CO2 from the atmosphere or block some of the incoming solar radiation hold promise as stop-gap measures to help us avoid serious climate change while we figure out how to reduce our emissions of CO2, but these schemes carry some risks and should not be considered to be easy solutions to our climate problems.

Assignments

You should have read the contents of this module carefully, completed the lab and submitted in Canvas, and taken the Module Quiz. If you have not done so already, please do so before moving on to the next module. Incomplete assignments will negatively impact your final grade.

Labs

Lab 12: Geoengineering the Climate