Reading Materials & Lecture Notes

Class 1, Jan 18, Wed: Welcome introduction & syllabus

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Class 2, Jan 23: The complex global climate system & the environment: fundamental concepts - overview (lecture)

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Class 3, Jan 25: Global climate & the environmental changes: observation, attribution & policies (lecture)

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Read IPCC AR5 WGII SPM (HW1: reaction journal required. Start early; it has 30pages exclduing cover page and content table)

Read IPCC AR5 Technical Summary

Class 4, Jan 30: What is weather, and what is climate? This class introduces foundamental concepts of weather and climate, which is crucial for Wednesday's discussion. (Substitute Instructor: Dr. Matthew Newman)

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This hands-on data analysis & visualization game will be demonstrated during the class

Read Pages 955-961, 964-965 (FAQ) & P1013-1014 (Box11.2) of IPCC AR5 Chapter 11 (HW2: reaction journal required)

Class 5, Feb 1: The importance of natural internal climate variability in climate prediction & communication with policy makers (Substitute Instructor: Dr. Matthew Newman)

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Read this article (HW3: reaction journal required)

Suggested reading (important for in-class discussion: no need to read the appendix)

Class 6, Feb 6: Is climate change real or a hoax, and where to obtain reliable information? Class Debate (check "Discussion/debate assignment" for your group & duty)

Read IPCC AR5 WGI SPM (HW4a: Reaction journal required; Start early: Content contains 26 pages)

Read "Top ten reasons climate change is a hoax" from (HW4b: Reaction journal required)

Class 7, Feb 8: Guest Lecture: Ozone hole and the role of science in formulating policy. Dr. David Fahey, NOAA

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Read questions 15, 16 & 19 of the "20 Questions and Answers booklet" on ozone depletion (HW5: Reaction journal required)

Class 8, Feb 13: Class Discussion/role play: Ozone depletion, status & effective policy compared to global climate change (check "Discussion/debate assignment" for your group & duty)

Read this article on stratospheric ozone, global warming, science and policy article (HW6a: Reaction journal required)

Read this interesting article on ozone-hole treaty slowed global warming (HW6b: Reaction journal required).

Class 9, Feb 15: Climate change and extremes. (Substitute Instructor: Dr. Mike Alexander)

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Read this article (HW7: reaction journal required)

Read this article (requried for class discussion)

Class 10, Feb 20: Guest Lecture: Climate Threats: A More Inclusive Assessment Is Needed. Prof. R. Pielke Sr.

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Read this Land Use Land Coever article (HW8: reaction journal required)

Read this article

Class 11, Feb 22: Discussion: Effective policies for combating global climate change?

Read IPCC AR5 WG3 SPM (HW9: Write an essay for the specified topic; see "Writing Homework" for detailed instructions)

Class 12, Feb 27: Class Discussion/role play. Coral bleaching: the role of natural climate variability or human impact?

Read the coral bleaching article (HW10: Reaction Journal required)

Suggested reading on coral bleaching and ENSO impact at:

Class 13, Mar 1: Discussion and role play: Rapid sea level rise along the US Northeast coast in recent decades: natural cycle or anthropogenic forcing? Policy?

Read this sea level rise article (HW11: Reaction journal required)

Read Section 4 of this review article (required for class discussion/role play)

Class 14, Mar 6: Class Debate: Climate mitigation policy and international trade (Check Discussion/debate assignments for your group & role)

Read this policy article (HW12: Reaction journal required) Start early: this article has 25pages

Read this article on climate change policy (required for class debate but no reaction journal)

Class 15, Mar 8: Guest Lecture: "Anthropogenically induced earthquakes in the US" by Prof. Shemin Ge, department of geological science, CU. .

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Read this article: (HW13: Reaction journal required)

Class 16, Mar 13: Guest lecture: "Greening Federal Grants: Why there is a need to connect efficiency to federal funding for research at universities" by Dr. Kathryn A. Ramirez-Aguilar.

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HW14: Write an essay on "What can&will you do to improve our local/regional environment?"

Class 17, Mar 15: Discussion & role play: Hydraulic fracturing & environmental issue - what do we need to do when climate policy conflicts clean environment?

Read this energy policy article (HW15: Reaction journal required)

Read this EPA website regarding its effort to reconcile the goals of clean energy and environmental issue

Additional suggested reading

Class 18, Mar 20: Watch Documentary: The boy who cried warming.

Read this NASA website:; (HW16: Write an essay on: "The Increased Antarctic Sea Ice: A Contradition to Global Warming")

Class 19, Mar 22: Watch video: Chasing ice

HW17: write reaction journal for "The boy who cried warming".

Spring break

Class 20, Apr 3: Guest Lecture: Climate & Energy Policies: Variations on a revenue-neutral carbon tax. Dr. David Kline. Former NREL member who focuses on energy policy analysis.

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Read this article (HW18: reaction journal required)

Class 21, Apr 5: Final Project presentation: (graduate) Kyle Petlock & Ashley Warner

Suggested reading from Kyle at (

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Suggested reading from Ashley: "Is the Grass Always Greener? Comparing the Environmental Impact of Conventional, Natural and Grass-Fed Beef Production Systems" (link:

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Class 22, Apr 10: Final project presentation: (graduate) Cindy White & Kimberlee Ott

Suggested reading from Cindy

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Suggested reading from Kimblerlee

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Class 23, Apr 12: Guest lecture: Antarctic sea ice should be melting but it's not: Connections to global temperature trends and the tropical Pacific. Dr. Gerald A. Meehl from NCAR

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Read this article (HW19: Reaction journal required)

Class 24, Apr 17: Final project presentation: (graduate) Harry Lee Brann; (undergrad) William Adams

Suggested reading from Lee

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Suggested reading from William (

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Class 25, Apr 19: Final project presentation: (undergrad) Carly Cipolla, Alex Ehrman & Roberta Farrington

Suggested reading from Roberta (

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Suggested reading from Carly

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Suggested reading from Alex

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Class 26, Apr 24: Final project presentation: (undergrad) Gary Johnson, Mary O'Malley & Connor Savage

Suggested reading from Gary

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Suggested reading from Mary

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Suggested reading #1 from Connor

Suggested reading #2 from Connor

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Class 27, Apr 26: Final project presentation: (undergrad) Ian Snow, Gabbie Stark & Pablo Laris

Suggested reading 1 from Pablo at this link:

Suggested reading 2 from Pablo

Suggested introduction website from Pablo

Suggested reading from Ian:

Suggested reading from Gabbie:

Download Ian's pptx file

Download Pablo's pptx file

Download Gabbie's pdf file of her presentation

Download Gabbie's pdf file of word puzzle answersheet

Class 28, May 1: (substitute instructor: Dr. Matt Newman)

Suggested reading: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science

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Class 29, May 3: (substitute instructor: Dr. Matt Newman)


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