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CCS 02 — Rising Tides, Shifting Landscapes: The Science of Climate Change

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Apr 8—Jun 3
Time: 5:30—7:20 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 10
Unit: 1
Tuition: $395
Instructor(s): Zachary Kaufman
Limit: 50
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on May 27
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
5:30—7:20 pm (PT)
Apr 8—Jun 3
8 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 10
1 Unit
Zachary Kaufman
Please Note: No class on May 27
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
The relationship between global warming and fossil fuel emissions is well-known, but the complexities of Earth's climate system can make it challenging to grasp the full scope of the short- and long-term impact on our planet. How do we predict future changes? What will the Earth look like in 50 years and in 100 years, and why? What regions will be most vulnerable to rising sea levels? In this course, students will explore the Earth’s intricate climate system to better understand global climate change and how it will shape the future of our planet.

Students will adopt the mindset of a climate scientist. Interactive sessions will guide us through an exploration of climate change using real-world observations, cutting-edge computer simulations, and predictions from advanced Earth system models. Topics covered along the way will include Earth's greenhouse effect, natural climate fluctuations (e.g., the end of the last ice age), and recent regional changes such as the rapid decline of Arctic sea ice. With support from the instructor, students will apply their learning to weekly exercises and develop a final project on a climate change topic of their choice. Students will emerge from the course with a solid grasp of climate science and where climate change, if left unchecked, will take our planet in the future.

Stanford Continuing Studies has lowered the tuition for this course as part of our mission to increase access to education around climate change and sustainability. No math or science expertise is required. However, this course will use some basic algebra and equations as well as explore concepts of biology, chemistry, and physics.

Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Earth System Science, Stanford

Zachary (Zack) Kaufman’s research at Stanford focuses on climate change mechanisms in the polar regions, and he is the lead author of multiple articles in the Journal of Climate. He has extensive experience teaching weather and climate studies to undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz, where he recently received a PhD. As a climate scientist, Kaufman is broadly interested in how Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, and ice sheets interact to shape the spatial pattern of climate change.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.