Many world leaders, scientists and analysts agree that climate change is the most significant challenge the world faces today. The Climate Change Concentration lets students engage in an interdisciplinary exploration of the many complex issues related to climate change. Through two required internships, students gain a valuable opportunity to put theory into practice, immersing themselves in important work that is integral to human life and well-being and the stability of life on Earth.
The Climate Change Concentration lets students and faculty investigate the exciting connections among key topics, including:
- the science of global climate change, including atmospheric physics and radiative transfer, sources of greenhouse gases, biological system responses to climate change and the prehistoric geologic climate record
- socioeconomic and historical factors affecting climate change, including the Industrial Revolution, the environmental movement, global fossil fuel industries, national and global financial institutions, world economic models and the military-industrial complex
- political and governmental aspects of climate change, such as the Kyoto Protocol; the relative balance between developing and developed nations of responsibility for causing and responding to climate change; the ongoing debate in the United States over "cap and trade" and carbon tax systems; and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- psychological factors affecting personal behavior, including political affiliation, education and perceived normative decisions among peer groups
- cultural reflections of and influences on global climate change, including literature, film, theater and visual arts