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?


Lecture 01 - Introduction
Lecture 02 - Tools for Studying Earth System
Lecture 03 - What Controls Earth's Global Temperature?
Lecture 04 - Earth's Climates
Lecture 05 - Anthropogenic Climate Change
Lecture 06 - Future Climate Change
Lecture 07 - Snow
Lecture 08 - Outlook for Snow
Lecture 09 - Permafrost
Lecture 10 - Permafrost and the Carbon Cycle
Lecture 11 - Sea Ice, Part I
Lecture 12 - Sea Ice, Part II
Lecture 13 - Implications of Summer Sea-ice Free Arctic
Lecture 14 - Formation of Glaciers, Ice Caps and Ice Sheets
Lecture 15 - Glacier Mass Balance
Lecture 16 - Measuring Glacier Mass Balance and Ice Dynamics
Lecture 17 - Glacier Dynamics
Lecture 18 - Surges, Tidewater Glaciers and Ice Shelves
Lecture 19 - Glacial Landscapes
Lecture 20 - Climate Records from Ice Sheets/Mountain Glaciers
Lecture 21 - Ice Age World and Past Impact of Ice on Humans
Lecture 22 - Melting Glaciers: Glacial Outburst Floods
Lecture 23 - Melting Glaciers: Future of Water Supplies
Lecture 24 - Sea Level Change
Lecture 25 - Measuring Sea Level Change
Lecture 26 - Consequences of Sea Level Change