ESS-60309 Climate Change: Impact, Adaptation and Mitigation


Studiepunten 9.00

Practical extensively supervised24
Project learning44
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. LWA van Hove
Lecturer(s)dr. RWA Hutjes
dr. ir. LWA van Hove
dr. H Goosen
Examiner(s)dr. RWA Hutjes
dr. ir. LWA van Hove
dr. H Goosen

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

ESA-23306 Introduction to Global Change; ESS-21306 Principles of Earth and Ecosystem Science or ENR-22806 Principles of Climate Change Economics and Policy; ESS-31806 Biogeochemical Cycles or ENP-36306 Climate Governance


Based on knowledge of previous courses you will work in multidisciplinary teams on the latest insights with respect to the thematic debate on climate change, including the latest scientific assessments of the impacts and the possibilities to cope with the risks associated with climate change by adaptation and mitigation. Students with backgrounds in the natural or socio-economic sciences will work together on the design of climate change mitigation or adaptation strategies and solutions. This process will in part be based on the 3 IPCC Working Group Fourth Assessment reports WGI (the Physical Science Basis; functioning of current and future climate systems on global and regional scale), WGII (impacts on natural and managed systems and possibilities for adaptation) and WGIII (mitigation options; measures and strategies to reduce climate change). The cases that need to be solved are commissioned by governments, international NGO' s, and local governments (provinces). Each team negotiates on how the tasks will be performed and how the final design and solution will be presented. The final product and the functioning of the team will be evaluated by the commissioner and by the team members themselves.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand and critically evaluate the scientific insights underlying the assessment reports of the IPCC, with a focus on impacts, adaptation and mitigation; critically distinguish between misconceptions, certainties and uncertainties in the climate change debate;
- demonstrate an understanding of how the threats and opportunities of predicted climate change will influence specific sectors at global and regional scale;
- critically evaluate the relative opportunities and needs for mitigation and adaptation (including vulnerability assessments) in a variety of sectorial contexts;
- function as a specialist in an international multidisciplinary team in which input from both natural and socio-economic sciences is necessary to solve complex climate change mitigation and adaptation issues;
- effectively communicate and negotiate with a commissioner on project content, planning and reporting;
- present and defend the final product (design of climate change mitigation and/or adaptation solutions);
- continuously monitor, reflect and improve one's own learning process in order to function well in a professional setting.


Lecturers and external experts will discuss the main issues of the IPCC Technical Summaries of WGI, II and III and specific topics with respect to adaptation and mitigation.
Each team:
- will work with IPCC datasets, including supporting analysis and visualization tools;
- selects a case study commissioned by either a government, international NGO, or local government;
- communicates and negotiates with the selected commissioner on project content, planning and reporting;
- designs an appropriate climate change mitigation and/or adaptation solution (product);
- presents and defends their solution;
- reflects on feedback received from the commissioner and on self-evaluation.


Course participants are expected to attend practical sessions and actively participate in discussions and team work.
Assessment of students' achievement of the learning objectives will be determined based on:
- the content of the product (scientific soundness of the presented solution; 50%);
- communication and negotiation with the commissioner and the planning and execution of the project (25%);
- individual functioning in the team (25%).


The course material includes hard copies of the 3 Working Group IPCC Fourth Assessment Reports at Technical Summary level which is mandatory reading (self-study). In addition, each student gets a CD-ROM with the underlying IPCC reports that can be used as reference material. A course manual will be handed out at the start of the course. Furthermore, relevant material will be provided through EduWeb.

Keuze voor: MEEEarth and EnvironmentMSc5AF, 6WD
MCLClimate StudiesMSc5AF+6WD