From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming



About Lesson 6

Now that we have explored the underlying workings of the climate system, experimented with actual climate models and validated their predictions, we are in a position to use climate models to make projections of future climate change. Before we can project human-caused climate changes, however, we must consider the various plausible scenarios for future human behavior, and resulting greenhouse gas emissions pathways.

What will we learn in Lesson 6?

By the end of Lesson 6, you should be able to:

  • Discuss the range of hypothetical pathways of future greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Distinguish between the concepts of CO 2 and CO 2 equivalent emissions;
  • Explain the Kaya Identity;
  • Explain the concept of stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations; and
  • Discuss the wedges concept for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

What will be due for Lesson 6?

Please refer to the Syllabus for specific time frames and due dates.

The following is an overview of the required activities for Lesson 6. Detailed directions and submission instructions are located within this lesson.

  • Begin Project #1: Design your own fossil fuel emissions scenario that would limit future warming by 2100 to 2.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels.
  • Participate in Lesson 6 discussion: Carbon Emission Scenarios


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum (not e-mail), located under the Home tab in Canvas. The instructor will check that discussion forum daily to respond. Also, please feel free to post your own responses if you can help with any of the posted questions.