Our climate is changing. Retreating glaciers; rising sea levels; hotter and more acidic oceans; and more frequent, stronger storms: all of these changes can be traced to an increase in the Earth’s average temperature, which is about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher today than it was a century ago.
Climate change poses an extraordinary threat to the planet and its inhabitants. There are no clear-cut answers to this global challenge, but it is not insurmountable. The longer action is delayed, however, the worse climate change becomes and the more difficult it will be to endure. Mitigation and adaptation are already happening in many ways all over the world. Blueprints exist, but they need to be used.
In this module, we will look at three basic questions surrounding climate change’s causes, effects, and solutions:
What is happening?
- Gain some scientific context by learning about the greenhouse effect and its relationship to climate change.
- Understand the vast and varied effects of climate change, including an in-depth look at how climate change is affecting Greenland’s melt patterns.
- Observe the projected effects of climate change on coffee production and the millions of people worldwide who depend on the industry for economic survival.
Why is it happening?
- Learn about the different characteristics of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources.
- Discover the mix of energy sources different countries consume.
- Explore the various lenses through which greenhouse gas emissions can be interpreted.
- Understand the historical division between developed and developing countries regarding responsibility for climate change.
What is being done?
- Study the background, structure, and significance of the Paris Agreement.
- Take a tour of adaptation programs around the world, from Kiribati’s purchase of land in Fiji to New York’s plan for a U-shaped flood barrier system.