A fundamental question surrounds discussion of the current evidence for recent global climate change: to what extent is climate variation a normal feature of earth-system history? Through a series of investigations using data from a variety of climate archives, this course develops the history of earths climate on a range of time scales. We will investigate the scientific data used in recognition of multiple controls on climate, including long- and short-term patterns in solar output, plate tectonic and ocean circulation patterns, variations in earths orbit, ocean oscillations, ice sheet dynamics, and biogeochemical cycles. Having established this background knowledge, students in this course will be well-equipped to analyze the evidence for human-caused climate change. Although this course is intended primarily for non-scientists, it builds on established quantitative skills and basic scientific knowledge of earth systems.
- MATH 115: College Algebra
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and CHEM 107: Chemistry, Society and the Environment
- or MATH 115: College Algebra
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and GEOL 110: Introduction to Earth Sciences
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and GEOL 118: Environmental Geology
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and NSCI 201: Minnesota Ecology and Conservation Biology
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and NSCI 204: Environmental Science
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and PHYS 107: Energy and the Environment
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and PHYS 110: Introduction to Physics
- or MATH 115: College Algebra and PHYS 111: General Physics I - Algebra Based
- Familiarity with the geological, paleontological, and geochemical systems and materials that serve as proxies for past (Pre-historic) climate variations.
- Ability to analyze and interpret data that come from various climate archives.
- Ability to speak and write clearly and knowledgeably about earth's climate history, and to accurately place scientific analysis of current climate change in that context.