Climate Change and Biodiversity

Course Climate Change and Biodiversity
Instructor Dr. Benoît Sittler (SS 2016)
Prerequisites Introduction to Earth and Environmental Sciences, Introduction to Governance
Corresponding Module EES: Specialization Option EES I or II, Elective
Climate change and biodiversity are among the major environmental issues modern societies face. They call for governance solutions both on global and local levels.

In this intensive course, you will first discover methodological approaches (such as proxies) to the monitoring and assessment of past and present changes in biodiversity. We will consider in detail examples illustrating these approaches looking into, namely, an ongoing long-term project in Greenland, which will provide you with unique insights into effects of climate change on biodiversity. You will understand the basic principles and dynamics behind the climate variability and the link to biodiversity.

In the second part of the course we will focus on governance. We will discuss how issues like climate change and loss of biodiversity find their way onto political agendas. We will explore standard-setting mechanisms, especially in respect to the measurement of climate change and its effect on the biodiversity. Furthermore, we will analyze regulatory policies introduced and implemented on the international, national, and local levels.

Course assignments include oral presentations by participants on selected topics related to these issues. General guidance and any practical details on these topic assignments will be explained to attendees during the pre-meeting.

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