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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

GEOG 3991: Global Climate Change and Regional Impacts

Through in-depth analysis, including receptive but critical examination of issues from various perspectives, students study how natural processes and human activity alter the composition of the ocean and atmosphere and trigger climate change at different temporal and spatial scales, globally and regionally. Students develop their knowledge of systems and energy flow, and atmospheric and ocean circulation; methodologies, records, and indicators of climate change; and the consequences of human activity within the context of natural climate change and the environment’s capacity to absorb anthropogenic impacts.

Learning outcomes

  • Identify natural and anthropogenic influences on the climate system at various time scales.
  • Outline the evidence and techniques used for reconstructing past climate and measuring present climate and consider some of the limitations of climate model projections.
  • Describe some of the observed and anticipated effects of climate change on human and natural systems and demonstrate a general understanding of regional differences in vulnerability.
  • Discuss potential ecological, social, and economic impacts of climate change in British Columbia and the various responses being considered.
  • Identify and discuss some of the strengths and weaknesses of international climate change agreements as they relate to emissions and the concept of global equity.
  • Discuss various mitigation measures aimed at reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and identify the advantages and disadvantages of selected carbon-free energy technologies.
  • Address climate-change issues with critical thinking, integrating new insights from different perspectives obtained through various means such as information searches, critical reading, and online discussion.
  • Make balanced judgments about the causes and impacts of climate change and analyze specific issues related to climate change.
  • Identify and describe your own attitudes toward climate change and recommend ways in which individuals, industry, and government can take action to beneficially address the challenges of future climate change.

Course topics

Module 1: Introduction to the Science of Climate Change

Module 2: Vulnerability of Human and Natural Systems

Module 3: Regional Impacts of Climate Change

Module 4: International Response, Future Challenges, and Individual Responsibility

Required text and materials

The following material is required for the course:

  1. Earle, S. (2021). A brief history of the Earth’s climate: Everyone’s guide to the science of climate change. New Society Publishers.
    Type: Textbook. ISBN: 9780865719590


To successfully complete this course, students must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course, and 50% or higher on the final mandatory project.

Assignment 1: Introduction to the Science of Climate Change 10%
Assignment 2: Vulnerability of Human and Natural Systems 10%
Assignment 3: Regional Impacts of Climate Change 15%
Assignment 4: International Response, Future Challenges, and Individual Responsibility 15%
Discussion Forum Posts 20%
Final Project Proposal 5%
Final Project Essay (mandatory) 25%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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