Climate change affects the global economy. It controls where people can live. It changes the balance of the ecosystem. It’s one of the most important developments of our time, and the people who are right now studying and governing and lobbying about this issue have the power to determine the future of the planet for millennia.
But under all the complexity, the basics of climate change are actually quite simple. To help you get caught up on the work that scientists have been doing for the past 117 years, University of Chicago professor David Archer has put together a free online course called Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change.
Archer’s course is being run through Coursera, and is one of those fancy new massive online open courses (MOOCs) you’ve probably heard about. The course is aimed at people with no previous experience in the subject and will explain what the climate is, how the global carbon cycle works, and how we’re controlling the global climate by upsetting that cycle, all in quick two to ten minute videos.
The course starts today and runs for two months, meaning that you should be nicely informed just in time to shut down that conspiratorial coworker at the office holiday party.
H/T Dan Satterfield