Human induced climate change is arguably the most serious problem currently facing our planet. Detection and attribution of human-induced climate change requires an understanding of the mechanisms of natural climate variability as well as trends in climate. Earth's climate is a coupled system between atmosphere, ocean, land surface, biota, snow and ice. Gaining an understanding of how our climate system works is an important first step to more confidently diagnosing and predicting the effects and impacts of human induced climate change.
In this subject you will learn how Earth's climate works. We will begin to understand mechanisms underpinning important known natural climate variations such as El Nino Southern Oscillation. To achieve these ends, we examine global climate observations (in situ and by satellite), estimations of past climate variability; learn about global and regional climate models; consider detection and attribution techniques to discern human induced climate change above natural variability; the impacts of climate change on human and biological systems; and examine recent statements by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on human induced climate change.