Global climate-change MOOC starts April 8, 2014

Scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have again collaborated with UC San Diego Extension to offer a repeat session of their popular massive open online course on climate change.

The 10-week course, “Climate Change in Four Dimensions: Scientific, Policy, International, and Social,” begins April 8.First launched in January 2014, the initial course was followed by more than 14,000 students from around the world.

Enrollment is currently open for the free, non-credit course, which is available to the general public. Professional certificate credit is available for a nominal fee.

“Climate Change in Four Dimensions” presents a series of 19 video lectures given by distinguished UC San Diego professors Charles Kennel, Naomi Oreskes, Richard Somerville, and David Victor, with an additional presentation by Scripps climate and atmospheric scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan.

Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Next month (May 2-6), at the invitation of Pope Francis, Ramanathan will be among three leaders of an unprecedented climate-change conclave hosted by the Vatican.

Officially titled Pope Francis' Council for the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the gathering will convene under the topic of “Sustainable Humanity, Sustainable Nature.”

Ramanathan was given the distinctive role of personally inviting many of the world’s leading social and natural scientists, philosophers, religious leaders, and policy makers to the conclave.

“As a Hindu, I must say I was truly amazed that the head of the Catholic Church would ask me to help solve this problem,” he said in a recent interview. “But science is non-denominational.”

Ramanathan’s goal is straight-forward: “I’m hoping His Holiness will send a declaration that says, ‘We should be good stewards of our planet,’” he said. “Just that one sentence. That’s all I want.”

To Ramanathan, a distinguished professor of atmospheric and climate sciences at Scripps and known to colleagues as “Ram”, no credible scientific argument exists against climate change.

“We know climate change is occurring,” he said. “If it’s not, then all of my work is wrong, and I want to be proven wrong. But so far, that has not been the case.”

Last year, Ramanathan was awarded the United Nations’ top environmental prize, “Champions of the Earth for Science and Innovation,” perhaps the most prestigious honor among many he’s received.

Climate Change in Four Dimensions: Scientific, Policy, International, and Social

  • Massive open online course (MOOC)

  • 10 weeks: April 8-June 10

  • Instructors: Charles Kennel, Naomi Oreskes, Richard Somerville, David Victor, Veerabhadran Ramanathan

Available free (non-credit) or credit (nominal fee)

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