FREE
Prof. Dr. Mojib Latif, Prof. Dr. Jochem Marotzke, and Prof. Dr. Sonja Peterson

How to understand the climate system

  • ESPRESSO
  • 31 min
  • Self-Paced
  • English
  • Interdisciplinary

About this course

Climate change is a fact, and humankind is the main cause of it. The observed changes in the climate system cannot be explained without considering human activity, in particular the burning of coal, oil, and gas. This is why we need to phase out burning fossil fuels now.

Continued greenhouse gas emissions will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. It will also increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts for all societies and the ecosystems worldwide.

This raises the question of how mankind deals with climate change. To make good decisions, we need to predict how the climate will change in the future.

Predictions always entail uncertainty, and so do climate models. Nevertheless, some model predictions are robust and can serve as a basis for decision-making. The main unknown is society itself. That is why we have different scenarios with different assumptions about future decisions for or against climate protection.

This section covers the following units:

  • The Climate System and Its Components

  • How Does the Natural Greenhouse Effect Work?

  • The Anthropogenic Greenhouse Effect

  • Fossil Fuels: The Basis of Our Economy

  • Climate Models - A Glimpse into the Future

  • Basis for Climate Model Computations

Who created this course?

This course was produced by WWF Germany (World Wide Fund For Nature) in cooperation with DKK (Deutsches Klima-Konsortium/German Climate Consortium), and funded by the Federal Foreign Office Germany.

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