The extension module is aimed at students with a genuine interest in climate science and related topics for their future career in and outside academia. As such it provides an interdisciplinary overview of core concepts and elements of climate change to introduce participants to its multi-faceted and complex nature, and to enhance their ability for interdisciplinary discourse going forward. The module encompasses elements from the physical basics to the economics of mitigating climate change, from sectoral impacts and adaptation to the climate policy landscape.
In covering the interdisciplinary aspects of climate science, the module will draw on the products of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and in particular the recent Special Reports on 1.5°C (SR15), on Land (SRCCL) and on the Ocean and the Cryosphere (SROCC). The IPCC reports will be supplemented by additional literature as applicable.
The module will be held in three two-day blocks plus an additional preparatory meeting. It will be set out in 4h blocks including two presentations, one by the lecturer and one by a participant. The participants can choose a topic of their interest from the list provided below on which they will prepare a 60min presentation plus questions. Background literature will be provided by the lecturer. Depending on the number of participants, each participant is required to give either one presentation and submit a seminar paper on the same topic or give two presentations.
Background on the lecturer
Dr. Carl-Friedrich Schleußner is a junior research group leader at the Humboldt University IRI-THESys cluster. A physicist by training, he has worked on a range of interdisciplinary topics around climate change ranging from ocean circulation changes and sea level rise to climate change and armed conflicts and mitigation pathways. His main focus over the recent years has been science in relation to the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement and he has been a contributing author to the recent special report. His research group focusses on barriers to adaptation. Carl-Friedrich Schleußner is also a team leader at the Berlin-based science policy institute Climate Analytics and works as a scientific advisor to small island states.
Block 1 The climatological basics of climate change
Block 1 Introduction (4h)
- History of Climate Science, the IPCC and the science-policy interface
- The Global mean temperature goal concept and the IPCC special report on 1.5°C
Block 2 Core concepts of climate science (4h)
- Greenhouse gases and global warming potentials
- The climate response
Block 3 Carbon budgets and simple climate models (4h)
- Carbon budgets
- Simple climate models
Block 4 From simple to complex models (4h)
- Climate models across scales
- Navigating the scenario landscape (an introduction into the coupled model intercomparison project CMIP)
Block 2 Climate Impacts
Block 1 Extreme weather events (4h)
- Temperatures, heat waves and extreme precipitation
- Compound events and tropical cyclones
Block 2 Impacts on Land (4h)
- Climate impacts on land including land degradation and desertification, biosphere and agriculture
- Changes to the hydrological cycle including extremes
Block 3 Sectoral impacts (4h)
- Health, Labour Productivity
- Economic impacts across regions and sectors
Block 4 Impacts on Ocean and Cryosphere (4h)
- Impacts on the cryosphere, components and timescales of sea level rise, semi-empirical models
- Impacts of sea level rise – from salinification to coastal flooding, climate impacts on ocean ecosystems
Block 3 Climate change mitigation and sustainable development
Block 1 Socio-economic modelling of the 21st century
- Integrated Assessment models (IAMs)
- Characteristics of emission pathways to achieve the Paris Agreement goals
Block 2 The shared socio-economic pathways (4h)
- Models of human capital for sustainability research
- Sustainability dimensions and climate interlinkages
Block 3 Socio-economic development and adaptation (4h)
- Adaptation, Adaptive capacity, Limits and Barriers
- Loss and Damage
Block 4 The climate negotiation context (4h)
- The UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement
- National climate (in)action and the years ahead
IPCC 2018 Summary for Policymakers Global Warming of 1.5 C: An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, ed V Masson-Delmotte, P Zhai, H-O Pörtner, D Roberts, J Skea, P R Shukla, A Pirani, W Moufouma-Okia, C Péan, R Pidcock, S Connors, J B R Matthews, Y Chen, X Zhou, M I Gomis, E Lonnoy, T Maycock, M Tignor and T Waterfield (World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland) p 32 pp
IPCC, 2019: Summary for Policymakers. In: IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate [H.- O. Pörtner, D.C. Roberts, V. Masson-Delmotte, P. Zhai, M. Tignor, E. Poloczanska, K. Mintenbeck, M. Nicolai, A. Okem, J. Petzold, B. Rama, N. Weyer (eds.)].
IPCC, 2019: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems [P.R. Shukla, J. Skea, E. Calvo Buendia, V. Masson-Delmotte, H.- O. Pörtner, D. C. Roberts, P. Zhai, R. Slade, S. Connors, R. van Diemen, M. Ferrat, E. Haughey, S. Luz, S. Neogi, M. Pathak, J. Petzold, J. Portugal Pereira, P. Vyas, E. Huntley, K. Kissick, M. Belkacemi, J. Malley, (eds.)]. In press.