Learn how the Greenland ice sheet is monitored from space and the ground, to understand our past, present and future climate. Made up of layers of compressed snow from over the last 100,000 years, the vast Greenland ice sheet acts as both a valuable record of our past climate and a bellwether for future climate change. This online course highlights how the Greenland ice sheet is monitored from space and the ground. You’ll look at the measurements made possible by Earth Observation (EO) satellites like Cryosat, the technologies and techniques involved, the data generated, and its uses and challenges.
You’ll also explore the role of ice in the climate system, and the impact of climate change on the Greenland ice sheet.
What topics will you cover?
- Satellite Earth Observation technology, terminology and the types of data products available when monitoring ice sheets
- Understanding the unique measurements of ice thickness and dynamics which satellite data can provide
- How to access process and work with Earth observation data and ice sheet measuring tools
- The use of Earth observation data in a range of scientific, policy and decision-making areas, in conjunction with models
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you'll be able to...
- Explore how we observe and measure ice sheets in situ and from satellites
- Explore the operational elements of satellite missions like Cryosat, which monitor the Greenland ice sheet
- Understand the complexity of the dynamics involved in melting ice sheet systems
- Data processing methods from Cryosat and other satellite missions
- Investigate how satellite data models enable a complete picture of changes in the ice sheet and how this is used in policy decision making
This course is designed for anyone who is interested in learning more about modern astronomy. We will help you get up to date on the most recent astronomical discoveries while also providing support at an introductory level for those who have no background in science.
The course presents an overview of the theory behind biological diversity evolution and dynamics and of methods for diversity calculation and estimation. We will become familiar with the major alpha, beta, and gamma diversity estimation techniques.
This class provides a series of Python programming exercises intended to explore the use of numerical modeling in the Earth system and climate sciences. The scientific background for these models is presented in a companion class, Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change. This class assumes that you are new to Python programming (and this is indeed a great way to learn Python!), but that you will be able to pick up an elementary knowledge of Python syntax from another class or from on-line tutorials.
Our Earth’s Future is about the science of climate change and how to talk about it. You will learn from scientists in the fields of climatology, oceanography, Earth science, and anthropology who study how climate change is affecting people, populations, and ways of life. Explore the multiple lines of evidence for the human-induced climate change that is happening today, and consider what that means for the future of our planet. At the end of this course you will be able to understand key scientific principles, identify and address misconceptions, and contribute confidently to conversations about climate change.
In this course, featuring many researchers at the University of Zurich, you will learn about the amazing diversity of biological organisms in the world around us. You will discover the field of "biodiversity science", experience the countless forms that biodiversity takes, look at the values and importance of this diversity, understand the processes that create and maintain diversity, and hear about how biodiversity is distributed across the Earth. You will also experience how biodiversity is threatened, and what conservation, management, and individual actions can do for its protection. Having been equipped with such knowledge through the course, we encourage you to take action, however small, to positively influence the future of biodiversity, and thereby become a Biodiversity Ambassador.
The movement of bodies in space (like spacecraft, satellites, and space stations) must be predicted and controlled with precision in order to ensure safety and efficacy. Kinematics is a field that develops descriptions and predictions of the motion of these bodies in 3D space. This course in Kinematics covers four major topic areas: an introduction to particle kinematics, a deep dive into rigid body kinematics in two parts (starting with classic descriptions of motion using the directional cosine matrix and Euler angles, and concluding with a review of modern descriptors like quaternions and Classical and Modified Rodrigues parameters).
Are you concerned about climate change? Would you like to learn how to address and respond to this challenge? If so, this course is for you. Act on Climate: Steps to Individual, Community, and Political Action is intended to help learners understand, address and respond to climate change as individuals and in partnership with their communities and political leaders.
This course will provide you with an overview of the most important health challenges facing the world today. You will gain insight into how challenges have changed over time, we will discuss the likely determinants of such changes and examine future projections. Successful international strategies and programs promoting human health will be highlighted and global health governance structures will be mapped and the role of the key actors explored.
How can we live a good life on one planet with over seven billion people? This course will explore greening the economy on four levels – individual, business, city, and nation. We will look at the relationships between these levels and give many practical examples of the complexities and solutions across the levels.
Find out how climate change will affect us, why we should care about it, and what solutions we can employ. Climate change is the biggest global challenge the human race has ever faced. Our insatiable demand for energy from fossil fuels is changing the atmosphere, and in turn changing our climate. Climate change is already affecting the physical surface of the earth, the environment that provides our life support, our food supply, economy and society. These changes will accelerate over the next few decades In this subject you will explore the impacts of climate change; why we should care about them, the science that underpins our understanding and how we can fix the problem before it’s too late.
How agriculture feeds the world: a study of farms, farmers and the challenges they face. You will learn about the world’s population and the crucial role of agriculture in feeding the steadily increasing number of people. You will then see how climate and soils dictate the types of farms we see in different regions and countries.
MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – enable students around the world to take university courses online. This guide, by the instructors of edX’s most successful MOOC in 2013-2014, Principles of Written English (based on both enrollments and rate of completion), advises current and future students how to get the most out of their online study, covering areas such as what types of courses are offered and who offers them, what resources students need, how to register, how to work effectively with other students, how to interact with professors and staff, and how to handle assignments. This second edition offers a new chapter on how to stay motivated. This book is suitable for both native and non-native speakers of English, and is applicable to MOOC classes on any subject (and indeed, for just about any type of online study).