Soc/Beh Science or Phys/Life Science Exploration
Climate change has been occurring throughout Earth’s history. Inherent processes such as the planet’s tectonic activity, the Earth’s relationship to the Sun and other extraterrestrial bodies, as well as atmospheric and hydrological processes have dictated an ever-changing climate pattern over a variety of time scales. However, the relatively recent evolution and expansion of humans around the globe has cast climate change in a new light. Humans are altering the atmosphere in an unprecedented manner, and stand to suffer greatly from even relatively minor alterations in climate. This course will examine several historical and recent examples of how human modification of an environment and/or climate led to the collapse of cities to civilizations. In addition to the cultural examples, students will be introduced to the methods and review the evidence used to study climate changes of the past, and will examine the data being used to forecast climate change into the future.