From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming

Lesson 8 Discussion



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.


Please participate in an online discussion of the material presented in Lessons 7 and 8: Projected Climate Change.

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

  • What do the climate models project for the future surface temperatures? What are the two fundamental uncertainties associated with these projections? Is the warming projected to be uniform over the globe?
  • What are the projected changes in precipitation and drought? What are the main causes for the large uncertainty in the precipitation projections?
  • What are the projected changes in the large-scale atmospheric and ocean circulations?
  • How well are the climate models able to project future changes in ENSO?
  • How is the Earth's cryosphere projected to change?
  • What are the projected changes of the sea level?
  • What are the projected changes in tropical cyclones and extreme weather events?
  • A very important point about all climate projections is that they are uncertain. One way we can attempt to assess how realistic the projections are is to compare the projections with the observations. We are in a position to do that because we have available climate projections that were done some time ago and now we have the observations that cover the projected period. Please share your thoughts on this comparison.
  • What are the carbon cycle feedbacks? How many feedback mechanisms does the Earth's carbon cycle have?
  • What is the difference between the Earth System Sensitivity and the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity?
  • In our current state of knowledge, what are the potential climate tipping points? Should we be concerned about these potential tipping points now or wait for a higher level of scientific certainty before we do anything?

Submitting your work

  1. Go to Canvas.
  2. Go to the Home tab.
  3. Click on the Lesson 8 discussion: Climate Change Projections.
  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.