From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming



About Lesson 8

We will now look at some of the more subtle, and indeed, less certain, future climate changes projected by climate models. These include changes in the cryosphere—that is glaciers, ice sheets, and sea ice; changes in sea level, which reflect an integration of a number of factors including melting ice and warming oceans; and changes in extreme weather events including tropical cyclones. While it is more difficult to accurately project changes in these attributes of the climate system, their profound potential impact on civilization and our environment necessitate their consideration.

What will we learn in Lesson 8?

By the end of Lesson 8, you should be able to:

  • Qualitatively assess the potential impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations on the distribution of ice on the Earth's surface, global sea level, tropical storm activity, severe weather, and other relevant climatic and meteorological phenomena;
  • Discuss the potential importance of carbon cycle feedbacks; and
  • Discuss the concept of climate tipping points, and their potential impacts.

What will be due for Lesson 8?

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

The following is an overview of the required activities for Lesson 8. Detailed directions and submission instructions are located within this lesson.

  • Participate in Lesson 8 discussion forum: Climate Change Projections.
  • Read:
    • IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, Working Group 1 --  Summary for Policy Makers (link is external)
      • Possible Climate Futures: p. 12-23 (same as Lessons 5-7, but specifically review information about oceans, cryosphere, sea level, and carbon/other cycles)
    • Dire Predictions, v.2: p. 110-117


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.