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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact - a MOOC presented by Michael Mann

Posted on 4 January 2021 by BaerbelW

The next run of our own Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) "Denial101x - Making sense of climate science denial" will start on February 9, so is still a couple of weeks away. If you are looking for another climate-related MOOC to take in the meantime - or would like to recommend to family members, friends or colleagues - check out this one which is also provided via edX:

Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact

It's offered by SDG Academy as a self-paced course with Dr. Michael E. Mann as the sole lecturer who helps you to understand the science behind global warming in order to avoid the most damaging and irreversible climate change impacts on people and planet.

From the MOOC's description on edX

Climate change is arguably the greatest challenge of our time. Human activity has already warmed the planet by one degree Celsius relative to pre-industrial times, and we are feeling the effects through record heat waves, droughts, wildfires and flooding. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, the planet will reach two degrees of warming by 2050—the threshold that many scientists have identified as a dangerous tipping point. What is the science behind these projections?

Join climate science expert Michael Mann to learn about the basic scientific principles behind climate change and global warming. We need to understand the science in order to solve the broader environmental, societal and economic changes that climate change is bringing.

By the end of this course, you will:

  • Develop a deep scientific understanding of HOW the climate system has been changing;
  • Articulate WHY the climate system is changing;
  • Understand the nature of these changes;
  • Develop a systems thinking approach to analyzing the impacts of climate change on both natural and human systems.


Working through the MOOC

The MOOC is divided into 8 modules and the suggestion is to work through them over the course of 8 weeks. Depending on your background knowledge about climate change you however may not take quite as long and I managed to "binge-watch" all the videos and do the quizzes and exams within just a day. This was possible because most of the videos are shorter than 10 minutes and I didn't spend any time thus far on the suggested reading materials or diving into the discussion forum.

I really enjoyed the matter of fact way in which Michael Mann explains and summarizes the science in easy to understand terms. So, simply watching the videos and now having them available to possibly watch again in the future as long as I don't unenroll from the MOOC makes this a very good resource to have readily available.

If you'd like to check it out yourself, here is the link to register to this free and worthwhile course. Once registered, you can decide if you'd like to spend $40 to actually do the exams to get a verified certificate from edX. The MOOC will be available until August 31, 2021.

Happy learning!

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  1. This sounds like really important learning opportunities. I'm going to pass on the $40, though, considering the pandemic, work, and such. Still, I'm pleased to have this opportunity to sign my name to this important exercise to learn about climate science.

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