From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming

Lesson 10 Discussion




Please participate in an online discussion of the material presented in Lesson 9: Climate Change Impacts; Lesson 10: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change; and the movie "Before the Flood".

This discussion will take place in a threaded discussion forum in Canvas (see the Canvas Guides for the specific information on how to use this tool) over approximately a week-long period of time. Since the class participants will be posting to the discussion forum at various points in time during the week, you will need to check the forum frequently in order to fully participate.  You can also subscribe to the discussion and receive e-mail alerts each time there is a new post. 

Please realize that a discussion is a group effort, and make sure to participate early in order to give your classmates enough time to respond to your posts. 

Post your comments addressing some aspect of the material that is of interest to you and respond to other postings by asking for clarification, asking a follow-up question, expanding on what has already been said, etc. For each new topic you are posting, please try to start a new discussion thread with a descriptive title, in order to make the conversation easier to follow. 

Suggested topics

The purpose of the discussion is to facilitate a free exchange of thoughts and opinions among the students, and you are encouraged to discuss any topic within the general discussion theme that is of interest to you.  If you find it helpful, you may also use the topics suggested below.   

"Before the Flood"

  • What effect on our planet portrayed in the movie was the most shocking to you?
  • Are there solutions presented in the film that give you hope or inspire you to action?  Why?
  • How effective is the film in presenting the topic? In your opinion, what are the strongest and the weakest points of the film?

Lesson 9: Climate Change Impacts

  • In your opinion, what are the most serious projected impacts of climate change?
  • What do you think about the concept of "ecosystem services"? Is it ethical to apply cost/benefit analysis to Earth's ecosystems and biodiversity?
  • Experiment with the interactive application "global warming impacts on cereal crops". Discuss how different crops are affected by various amounts of future projected warming, for both tropical and extratropical regions.

Lesson 10: Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change

  • Two strategies for confronting the impacts of climate change are adaptation and mitigation.  What is the difference between the two? Considering that climate change impacts are very non-uniform across geographic regions, in your opinion, which of the two strategies is more ethical? 
  • Realistically, do we have a choice between adaptation and mitigation?  When is the time to start applying these strategies?
  • What do you think of trading water access rights as an adaptive strategy for reduced freshwater availability?

Submitting your work

  1. Go to Canvas.
  2. Go to the Home tab.
  3. Click on the Lesson 10 discussion: Impacts, Adaptation, and "Before the Flood".
  4. Post your comments and responses.

Grading criteria

You will be graded on the quality of your participation. See the online discussion grading rubric for the specifics on how this assignment will be graded. Please note that you will not receive a passing grade on this assignment if you wait until the last day of the discussion to make your first post.