Historically, drivers of global change have been solar variation, plate tectonics, evolution and extinction of life, changes in Earth’s orbit around the sun and tilt on its axis. All of these continue to affect our planet today. However, abundant, strong evidence indicates that the main driver of change on our planet are humans. In fact, in the last 250 years, global change is resulting in climate change, species extinctions, over exploitation of natural resource, loss of biodiversity, land-use change, ocean acidification, and much more.
Our objectives for this course are to:
- Understand how global change includes, but is not limited to, climate change;
- Gain a broad understanding of the mechanisms by which plants, animals, and communities are responding to global change;
- Use the primary literature to identify topics at the frontier of global change research;
- Practice and refine skills in communicating science and debating scientific issues via oral and written forms;
- Explain the links between physical, chemical, and biological systems, and the changes that may occur with anthropogenic forcing;
- Evaluate effective strategies for addressing issues associated with global change.
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