The Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science now offers an undergraduate certificate program in Climate and Climate Change (CCH).
Climate Change is an increasingly important societal issue since it will impact how we secure water, energy, and food in the near future. The primary cause of current trends in global climate are emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution and the rise of fossil fuels as primary energy sources. In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that “the human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident from the increasing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, positive radiative forcing, observed warming, and understanding of the climate system.”
The potential impacts from a changing climate are widespread and range from a rise in global sea level as ocean waters are heated and ice stored on land is transferred to the oceans at increasing rates; increasing surface temperatures; more widespread drought events of longer duration; and the possibility of more frequent and more intense hurricanes making landfall in the region surrounding the Gulf of Mexico. To cope with these consequences, and to build a more resilient society and infrastructure, there is an urgent need for an informed citizenry. It is critical to educate future decision makers who can influence national and international policies and adopt a more rational approach to dealing with impacts of climate change.