We human beings, Homo sapiens, have been on this planet for just a tiny fraction of the full history of life. We are unlike other species and that we are able to have a global impact on our environment through our activities.
We are now within this era, known as the Anthropocene, where human beings have sort of taken over taking the reins from geological processes and natural processes and being the primary driver of changes in the Earth’s system and certainly the burning of fossil fuels And climate change is one primary example of that my name is Michael Mann.
I am a professor at Penn State University and a climate researcher in this MOOC. I am going to lay down the fundamental scientific principles behind climate change and global warming. We need to understand the science in order to solve the societal, environmental and economic problems that climate change is bringing we’ll begin with the principles of atmospheric science.
We’ll talk about how climate data is collected, the trends that these data show. How do we look for signals of climate change in the data we’ll, learn how to do basic computations and to use theoretical models of the climate system to address questions about future climate change.
Finally, we will discuss the impacts that climate change may have on the social, cultural, economic, urban and other human systems. The science of climate change impacts tells us that once we warm the planet beyond about 2 degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial time, we’re likely to see the most damaging and potentially irreversible climate changes.
Two degrees Celsius is probably a line that we don’t want across I’m, hoping this course can help arm others with information and knowledge and resources that they can use down in the trenches. As we all fight this collective battle to preserve our planet for future generations.