[Climate change (Class of 2020)]

One of the international exchange courses, Tokyo Metropolitan University
Academic year 2020, 1st semester (April-July 2020), Thursday 13:00-14:30, Minami-Osawa campus


Key words

Climate system, energy balance, greenhouse effect, natural and anthropogenic causes of climate change, adaptation to climate change, mitigation of climate change

Course Description / Theme

The subject of 2/3 of the course is natural science of climate change. The basic mechanism of global climate change is explained based on the physical principle of conservation of energy. Thinking about a century ahead, the outlook of "global warming" caused by emission of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuel is robust, but still has a range of uncertainty.

The subject of the other 1/3 is climate change as a matter of global policymaking. Climate change is likely to have bad impacts to human society, and people need both to adapt to climate change and to reduce use of fossil fuel.

Knowledge & Abilities students can acquire through the class / Course objectives

Understanding of the relatively simple part of the mechanisms of global climate change. Experience of handling physical quantities relevant to climate change. Notion about complexity and uncertainty of climate. Understanding how climate change is framed in the agenda of global policymaking. Some thoughts about the relevance of climate change for the global human society.

Course Schedule, Contents

Instruction Methods

Information will be given on-line, partly through “kibaco” and partly through the lecturer’s personal web site. Every week I will put “outline of lecture” documents there, and students should start reading them, preferably before the lecture time. At each lecture time, a short interactive “zoom” session will be held, and explanation of the materials and assignments will be given. Students are requested to respond mainly by text “chat” or by e-mail (for, unfortunately, my capability of hearing English over network is not very good). Reading assignments of parts of the textbook or of the reference books, and short report assignments including calculation and graph making of climate-relevant physical variables, will be given. For calculation and graph making, example programs in the programming language R, which can be run on MS Windows, Mac or Linux, will be provided. (I will introduce R very briefly, but I cannot make full instruction of how to use R. Students may use their accustomed tools instead.)

Learning Activities outside the Classroom


Textbooks and/or References

On-line materials will be placed, besides “kibaco”, in the lecturer’s personal web site http://macroscope.world.coocan.jp/en/edu/clim_change/2020/. It will be updated every week.

Textbook (One copy will be reserved. It is recommended but not required for the students to have their own copy.)

References (One copy each will be reserved at some time during the semester.)

The books marked (*) are included in the “Cambridge Core” series, whose digital texts will be available free of charge until 31 May by arrangement between Cambridge U.P. and TMU Library.

Grading Evaluation Policy

Responses to short report assignments, mainly calculation of climate-relevant physical variables, several times during the semester. 40%.
End-ofterm report, including some confirmation of acquired knowledge, some original thoughts, and some computation. 60%.

How to contact the instructor for questions

e-mail masudak @ tmu.ac.jp

Notice for Students

I am a natural scientist. The contents of the part of natural science will be robust knowledge shared by climate scientists, which may be rather classical than cutting-edge. The contents in the part of climate-society interactions will be an interpretation of the interdisciplinary subject from my viewpoint, which may be naive in the sense of social sciences or humanities.

Updated 2020-04-17, Updated version placed on the Web 2020-04-19
[Index page of "Class of 2020"] ["Climate change"] [educational materials] [Entrance page in English] ["Home" page] of K. Masuda