ESS 21: On Thin Ice: Climate Change and the Cryosphere
ESS 21: On Thin Ice: Climate Change and the Cryosphere (Winter 2014, UC Irvine). Instructor: Professor Julie Ferguson. The course introduces the science behind the physical and chemical processes of the cryosphere, specially examining the formation and behavior of snow, permafrost, glaciers, and ice sheets. Particular emphasis is placed on the important role that each component plays in the larger climate system and the potential feedbacks. The class ties into everyday life; what will be the social, economic, and political impacts of the melting cryosphere? How will the melting of mountain glaciers affect freshwater supplies to people around the Andes and Himalayas? Who will benefit from the loss of Arctic sea-ice, which opens up new shipping routes and allows access to new petroleum reserves?