ENVR E-104: The Climate-Energy Challenge

This course examines future climate change in the context of earth history, and then considers various strategies for what might be done to deal with it. We discuss measuring ancient temperature and carbon dioxide levels and investigate the basic physics and chemistry that control climate through the lens of climate variations in the geologic past. The likely impacts of continued greenhouse gas emissions are explored, emphasizing the scientific basis for climate change predictions. We explore impacts of climate change on human societies and on natural ecosystems. A major focus of the course addresses the question of how to mitigate climate change, including an examination of various options for advanced energy systems. Each student designs a low-carbon energy system for the US, considering the four basic energy sectors (transportation, industry, residential and commercial, and electricity). During the second half of the course, a large portion of class time focuses on the low-carbon energy system exercise.



Thomas Andrew Laakso







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  • [Course titles in brackets] indicate that the course is not scheduled to be taught during the 2018-2019 academic year, but may be offered in an alternate year.
  • An asterisk (*) before a course number indicates that a student must obtain the instructor's permission in order to enroll in the course.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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