Monday, December 23, 2013

Call for Participation: World Bank's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Climate Change

World Bank's  first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Climate Change

World Bank's  first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Climate Change
will be launched next month on January 27, 2014. This course presents the most recent scientific evidence as well as some of the opportunities for urgent action on climate change. It also covers the latest knowledge and information based on cutting-edge research.

It is being offered in two tracks: (1) General Public; and (2) Policy Makers and Practitioners.  The course runs for 4 weeks, and is free of charge. You have access to the material for approximately 6 months after the course ends.

Sign up for the first delivery of the course at :  https://www.coursera.org/#course/warmerworld 

This is also an opportunity for climate change practitioners and STS researchers - to become champions of climate change knowledge. 

Course Syllabus

This overview presents the main findings of the course, providing a summary of the key impacts and challenges of a 4°C warmer world by the end of this century.

Module 1: Observed Climate Changes and Impacts: Hundreds of Thousands of Years to Now
This module outlines the historical observed changes in the climate system leading up to the present day and the impacts that can now be attributed to human-induced climate change. It examines the rise of GHG emissions since preindustrial times while explaining the link between CO2 concentrations and the rising global mean temperature, ocean heat storage and sea-level rise, as well as the uncertainties in the scientific evidence. It also describes the trends of increasing loss of ice in Greenland and Antarctica, increasing loss of Arctic Sea-ice, melting mountain glaciers, increased heat waves and extreme temperatures and finally, drought and aridity trends.

Module 2: Possible 21st Century Climates
This module provides an overview of the projected changes in climate leading up to the end of the 21st century. It describes the likelihood of a 4°C warmer world by 2100 A.D. and enables a deeper understanding of various climate models with different projections and key areas of uncertainty. It also reviews possible responses from natural systems, explaining how the projected changes in climate from 2°C to 4°C global warming could result in sea-level rise, heat waves and extreme temperatures, and ocean acidification.

Module 3: Life in a 4°C Warmer World
a) Impacts Across Key Human Support Systems
This module presents an overview of current and projected climate impacts across key human support systems such as agriculture and food production, water resources, ecosystems and biodiversity, and human health. Each of these human support systems will be negatively impacted by climate change under a 4°C global warming scenario, resulting in adverse consequences for development: diminishing crop yields which threaten food production and human health, loss of biodiversity, spread of vector-borne diseases and water scarcity.

b) Risks of Large-Scale and Disruptive Changes in the Climate System
This module brings together the information in the earlier modules, by considering how the impacts, risks, and vulnerabilities to climate change may scale with increasing levels of CO2 concentration and global mean warming. The module highlights the risks of nonlinear and cascading impacts and the risk of crossing critical thresholds for nonlinear tipping elements of the earth system, which could dramatically increase vulnerability to climate change and impose multiple stresses on development.

Module 4: What Can We Do About It: Choice is in your hands (Discussion)
After having outlined the scientific evidence in previous modules, this final module goes beyond the WB/PIK report and provides a discussion on what mitigation and adaptation action is needed to help avoid a 4 degree world while also decreasing the vulnerability of climate change impacts and building climate resilience. Since there is no single solution, this module will share perspectives from a range of actors on some of the key policy measures and climate actions. Track 1 (for the general public) will showcase how different lifestyles may affect changes in the climate and explore everyday choices that can help mitigate climate change and decrease vulnerability to impacts. Track 2 (for policymakers) invites leaders from various countries, the World Bank, IMF and civil society to exchange ideas and examples of effective policies and actions that can help transition towards a low emissions and climate resilient development path.

Depending on your particular interest you can choose to participate in one of two tracks for optional activities:
  • Track 1: Climate Champion
  • Track 2: Policy and Leadership

Course Format

The MOOC has a week-by-week structure, with resources, activities and exercises for you to engage in during each of the four weeks of the course.

To pass the course and receive a statement of accomplishment, there are quizzes for you to complete based on the core videos and readings each week, and three assignments that will sharpen your skills of analysis, reflection and communication. These core resources and assignments will take around 3 hours per week to complete.

However, you can go much further than this, engaging in optional exercises, networking, discussion and diving deeper into our rich selection of additional resources. We also will use the e-discussions, Google Hangout and other tools to facilitate dialogue among the learners and with the experts We also will use the e-discussions, Google Hangout and other tools to facilitate dialogue among the learners and with the experts.

Will I get a certificate after completing this class?
Yes, if you successfully complete course requirements you will receive a Coursera Statement of Accomplishment. To receive the Coursera statement of accomplishment, you must complete a number of quizzes based on the core videos and readings each week, as well as assignments that will sharpen your skills of analysis, reflection and communication. These core resources and assignments will take around three hours per week to complete.More details will be provided after the course starts.


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