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Challenges of Climate Change (IL006)


The changes to global climate being brought about by human activity present one of the greatest challenges to confront humanity, and are likely to have a profound effect over the working lives of today's students. Understanding them requires a comprehensive approach spanning multiple disciplines. The aim of this module is to equip students to begin to do this, by providing a grounding in the central scientific, economic and political issues surrounding climate change. The module is taught by members of the Economics, Law, Mathematics, Physics, Statistics and Politics Departments, and Warwick Business School, and is open to students from all disciplines, from across the university.

Principal themes of the module:

  • The underlying physical processes that govern global climate, the evidence for human-induced warming, predictions for the future, and assessment of mitigation strategy.
  • Ecological, economic and social consequences of climate change.
  • Difficulties in the way of reaching a political consensus for action to mitigate climate change; political strategies and technological mechanisms to overcome them, and to adapt to future changes.

Students taking this module will gain a solid understanding of the major challenges that climate change presents, together with knowledge enabling them to participate actively and constructively in the efforts to meet them.


The lectures will be given by specialists, at a level accessible to non-experts in the field. The only requirements are a willingness to explore topics outside the boundaries of your discipline, and a grasp of science and mathematics to GCSE level.

Calendar of lectures (2017):

  1. Introduction: David Elmes (Warwick Business School) and David Mond (Mathematics) October 6th
  2. Physical basis of Climate Change - Michael Pounds (Department of Physics) October 13th
  3. Climate modelling and its discontents - Michael Pounds (Department of Physics) October 20th
  4. Evidence, Confidence, Uncertainty - Andrew Levan (Physics) October 27th
  5. Mitigation scenarios: how much should we reduce emissions, and are we doing it? David Mond, November 3rd
  6. The Politics of Climate Change - (1) Ben Richardson (Department of Politics and International Studies) (2) Alastair Smith (Global Sustainable Development) November 10th
  7. Climate Change and the Energy Industry - David Elmes, November 17th
  8. (1) Climate Justice - Alice Mah (Department of Sociology) (2) The Economics of climate change - David Mond November 24th
  9. Climate change and the law: (1) Brexit - John McEldowney (Warwick Law School) (2) Water rights - Sharron McEldowney (University of Westminster) December 1st
  10. What to do in the face of the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement? Joan MacNaughton CB (Chair of the Climate Group and Energy Academy Europe ) - December 8th. In order to attend, please register via the link at the top of the page -- this is a public lecture.

Lectures will be complemented by directed reading and forums, with weekly seminars for students on the 15 CAT version.



Module convenors

Prof. David Mond (D dot M dot Q dot Mond at warwick dot ac dot uk)

Dr Michael Pounds (M dot A dot Pounds at warwick dot ac dot uk)


This module will be run by Global Sustainable Development (GSD)
in 2018-19




For 15 CATS:

70% - examination (3 hours)
20% - directed essay (2500 words)
10% - online multiple-choice questions

For 7.5 CATS:

80% - examination (1.5 hours)
20% - online multiple-choice questions

Other links and events

Cambridge Climate Lectures Climate Change is Now. Five evening lectures live-streamed online from Cambridge between Feb 15 and March 15 2018.

Climate change in the news

Climate 2020 - the UN on how to fulfil the promises of Paris 2015

Honorary Degree at Warwick for Christiana Figueres

Climate-related activities at Warwick