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SOAR Class: Climate Change Science, Policies, Impacts

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SOAR Class: Climate Change Science, Policies, Impacts

This 4-part class is aimed at providing some basics about the science, causes, policies and very real social impacts of climate change. Attending all 4 classes is suggested, though not required.

(week 1 (3/18)) Climate Change: The Science Behind solar radiation, greenhouse gases, and greenhouse effect

Prof. Suresh Dhaniyala, Clarkson University
If you have heard about climate change, you have probably heard about greenhouse gases. Did you know that greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are what make life comfortable on Earth? What are greenhouse gases and how are they important from a global climate point of view. This workshop will introduce attendees to basic atmospheric science governing Earth’s Climate and its relation to the gases in the atmosphere. We will use simple, interactive computer-animations to study and understand these critical climate science topics. Computers will be provided.

(week 2 (3/25)) Climate Change: Sources of greenhouse gases and your own carbon footprint

Prof. Susan Powers, Clarkson University
Did you know that the average US citizen is responsible for approximately 20 metric tons of CO2 (carbon dioxide) each year, whereas the world average is only 4? Join us to learn more about sources of greenhouse gases and carbon footprint calculators, calculate your own footprint, and work with experts to help you learn how to interpret the results to most effectively reduce your carbon footprint. To make the most of this workshop, bring your 2012 year-end electricity and home heating bills and estimate the number of miles you drive each year. Computers will be available for your use.

(week 3 (4/1)) Climate Change: On the Front Lines

Prof. Jon Rosales, St. Lawrence University
Climate change is more pronounced and disruptive in the Arctic than anywhere else on the planet. It is especially obvious and disruptive to native people who live off the land. This class focuses on impacts of climate change with special attention given to coastal villages in Alaska. For the past four years, Dr. Rosales has been studying the biophysical and social impacts of climate change in two indigenous villages in Alaska on the front lines of climate change. This class summarizes what has been learned with his Alaskans Sharing Indigenous Knowledge (AKSIK) project and considers how the villages can receive aid in adapting to climate change.

(week 4 (4/8)) Climate Change: Integrating Science into the Policy Process

Prof. Stephen Bird, Clarkson University
How does public policy – which integrates politics, regulation, and science – work effectively for the public interest? This lecture examines the policy process and scientific uncertainty, and considers how the development of public policy should integrate science. A discussion of interests, consensus, certainty, and meta-analysis informs this discussion.