predicting climate change AND its impacts over the next century.
The United States is actively working on national assessment of the impacts of the climate change predicted to occur over the next century. The U.S.
National Assessment has developed three major documents: an overview written for Congress, a foundation document giving the sources of information and their interpretation, and a series of regional and sector (water, health, agriculture, forests, and coastlines) reports. These reports present an exceptional opportunity to connect advances in the natural sciences to society. The course has four major objectives: (1) to gain an understanding of climate science and of the possible scenarios of how climate may change in the future; (2) to analyze the linkages between climate and major human and natural systems (e.g., agriculture, human health, water, coastal ecosystems, and forests), necessary to assess the potential impacts of climate change; (3) to demonstrate that the impacts of climate change, and the way in which society responds, are dependent on factors such as age, economic capability, lifestyle (e.g., urban vs. rural), generational differences, and cultural differences; and (4) to understand the different types of responses that humans may have to climate change, including adaptations to change and possible mechanisms to mitigate the factors that are forcing change to occur.
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