Theme 1: Scientific Evidence

What evidence is there of climate change?

  • Paleoclimatology: the earth’s climate in a long view
  • Climate change today: examining the data
  • Ice cap reduction and glacial melt
  • Sea level change
  • Floods, drought, forest fires, hurricanes, and other sporadic events
  • Albedo or measuring the earth’s reflectiveness
  • Meteorology and climate informatics
  • Equilibria and disequilbria: change processes and countervailing tendencies
  • Climate measurement processes, methodologies, and technologies
  • Reading complex, dynamic, and unstable systems
  • Developing local and global climate models
  • Change scenarios: slow, rapid, abrupt, or episodic

Theme 2: Assessing Impacts in Divergent Ecosystems

What are the impacts of climate change on natural environments?

  • Ocean currents and el Niño
  • Riverine ecosystem impacts
  • Mountain ecosystem impacts
  • Coastal ecosystem impacts
  • Marine ecosystem impacts
  • Forest and grassland ecosystem impacts
  • Impacts on wilderness and protected areas
  • Impacts on specific biomes
  • Impacts on biodiversity, potential extinctions
  • Hardiness zone migration
  • Regional variations: temperature and rainfall

Theme 3: Human Impacts and Impacts on Humans

What evidence is there that human activity has contributed to climate change, and what are the impacts of climate change on human life?

  • Anthropogenic factors in climate change: determining the relative contribution of natural and human causes
  • Impacts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
  • Land use patterns, agriculture, and livestock husbandry and deforestation as factors in climate change
  • Impacts on humans: agriculture, fish stocks, food supply, health
  • Human settlements and sea level rise
  • Impacts on humans: water supply, desertification
  • Impacts on humans of intense weather events, natural disasters, and ecological surprises
  • Impacts of climate change in the developing world

Theme 4: Technical, Political, and Social Responses

How do scientists, technologies, policy makers, and community members respond to climate change?

  • Environmental policies in response to climate change
  • Controversy and denial: politics, the media, and scientists with dissenting views
  • The international politics of climate change
  • The past, present, and future of international agreements
  • Education and awareness for management of global climate change
  • Protected areas and preservation of biodiversity: "corridoring" and other strategies
  • Strategies for sustainability
  • Human adaptive strategies
  • Technologies of mitigation: carbon dioxide sequestration, solar shades, and other processes
  • Alternative and renewable energy sources: technologies, policies, and strategies
  • Carbon taxes, offsets, and trading
  • Emission standards
  • Climate ethics and the precautionary principle
  • Eco-development, eco-efficiency