A great introductory course into Global Warming as well as modelling which gives you a better insight into what is actually happening with our planet. Started another course and it all fits in.
A detailed and really knowledgable course. The course structure and the knowledge shared by Prof. David made learning simple and interesting. The assignments are also very well structured.
par Rosanella D C•
The video lectures are great but the level of guidance is nil! The Quizzes are a waste of one's precious time as one needs to rely mostly on the forum. The lecturer is nowhere to be seen on the forums nor course assistant. Looking at posts on the forums, I see students with degrees and Master degrees finding difficult to fathom answers to quizzes.
I was really excited about taking this course and I am now very disappointed. I paid for this course!
par Jon Ø B•
Excellent course. My understanding of the world and how we are affected by climate has grown tenfold if not more. I recommend this to anyone who has an interest in living on this planet.
par Sushant K•
It's a very comprehensive and extremely tough course to negotiate. Some of the quiz answers are still a mystery. It has arisen the appetite of Climate Change within me, like never before.
par Christina M G•
I worked really hard on this course, but was stymied by a couple of quizzes. If I could not answer one question correctly, it meant I could not answer two or three of the next questions, meaning that I could not pass quiz. With no recourse, I was prevented from passing although my overall percentage of points earned was passing. I would still like to pass, as I feel that I really earned the certificate. I would really like a chance to speak to someone who can help me resolve my questions. My other problem was using one of the models, which I never could master, despite reading the help sites and trying two or more times.
par Kristin W•
There is a lot of good information in this course, as well as access to a number of climate models. HOWEVER, the material in the quizzes is NOT the same as the material in the video lectures. Questions are NOT explained well- which, when you're dealing with math and physics, is about the worst thing I can think of. On top of not being explained well, there is next to no help to be found in the forums, and no staff around much to answer new questions from what I could see.
par Haran S•
Excellent course, thoroughly enjoyable. PROS: - Lectures by Professor Archer are well explained, easy to follow and include useful diagrams. - Good breadth of topics, from basic chemistry (e.g. dipoles from vibrating molecules) to economics (e.g. viability of carbon taxes). - Videos are typically short and sweet and have useful in-lecture questions. - Plenty of opportunity to play around with a variety of climate models - The explainer assignments are useful to ensure understanding of basic principles. CONS - Quizzes can be vaguely worded and frustrating at times (stipulating how many significant figures are required in answers would help) - Some scientific and mathematical background may be helpful: for example I can imagine the explanation of oxidation / reduction status of atoms may be difficult, plus one quiz question involved a basic understanding of logarithmic equations ( I only learned these things at A-level i.e. 17-18 years old). - Peer review of written work means that requests to review work dominate the discussion boards, rather than more useful discussion of course topics.
par Carsten H•
For a longer time I have wanted to know more about the scientific background of climate change and global warming, and I am glad that I finally found the time to do this course. I liked the interactive aspect and the variety of tasks including writing small reports and explanations and reading the ones of other students as well as getting feedback from them. This interaction and combination of learning forms is way more effective than just reading a book, I think.
What I do not understand is the grading system for the final task, the term project. There is a scale ranging from 1 to 10, but you can only give a 1,4,7 or 10. It seems that, if do not get a 10 from someone, you fail the whole course. I don't think that this is fair.
Great course!!! The course is comprehensive and it progresses at a good pace (except for week 5 and 6, too fast from my point of view). Professor Archer is a very precise and clear lecturer (he uses very helpful analogies). He writes on a blackboard and does it very well which is a nice change from the usual - poorly prepared - slides. He is calm and has a soft voice but at the same time he is not soporific for one second. If you are interested in the topic, go for it! If you're not, give it a try!
par Agustin J P P•
Eye opening course, interesting content easily explained concepts and fantastic practice materials. Highly recommend this course to start creating conscience on issues affecting us all.
par William L•
This course is addressing a critical subject matter. The material is great. I love the math.
But these are my personal metrics: A 4-star course has a high level of student collaboration and teaching staff participation, a 5-star course has very responsive teaching staff. I love learning the material but the learning environment is disappointing.
As the course progresses to the later weeks, the inconsistency between quizzes and lectures grows. Not greatly but enough to frustrate. Some quiz questions, with multiple choice options with only one correct answer, will not accept any answer. There are a few questions which are not covered in the video lecture (or covered in later weeks). Some answers can be found in the book (but the book supposedly is not required). Some answers can be googled but the answers vary wildly between sources.
Mathematical Thinking from Stanford is the gold standard.
par Deleted A•
Databases very difficult to work with, and badly programmed.
par Kevin N L•
I recommend the course, for anyone who understands some math and science. The quizzes and writing exercises were challenging in different ways, and helped me to develop my skills in computing, understanding, looking at data, and practice sharing in the enterprise of science.
I would give my performance maybe a B since I did very well in some areas (I understood the science very well, and mainly aced the quizzes) but not so well in others (in the writing assignments I kept getting into trouble with the deadlines and the interface, and in grading other people's papers sometimes I wasn't very thoughtful in my judgments and statements.)
Also, I said I understood the science very well, but also I know I could have looked more thoroughly at some parts of the science. Especially about the analysis of radiation as it interacts with the atmosphere, I think I went too fast, and relied on looking at a graph to get myself through the lesson. I am sure the graph has a solid foundation, but I would like to review that part of the course or look at that information more deeply.
There is a term project at the end that took me by surprise and I procrastinated on it - bad habit.
I decided to go ahead and purchase the course since I am willing to support the course. My finances are really not good but considering the amount of time I put into the course, I should be able to afford that much.
par Heinz D•
Prof. Archer is very competent and clear. He does not try to influence politically, but simply teaches the facts. I'd love to be in one of his university courses, but this must probably wait until I'm retired...
I'd split this huge 12-weeks course in two. Maybe weeks 1 to 7 in part 1, weeks 8 to 12 in part 2. Just a proposal.
The man behind the camera should not cut relevant parts of the blackboard. Prof. Archer should not stand in front of relevant parts of the blackboard. Some of the transcripts need serious rework.
In some quizzes, there is no feedback what mistakes I made, the response is simply "Incorrect". This adds no value for the student and is rather demotivating.
Feedbacks from the 'Review Your Peers' exercises are sometimes valuable (altough given by amateurs), but the number of course participants is obviously quite small, which I regret. Thus it is not reasonable to require 5 reviews for the explainer assignment in week 10 as it causes annoying waiting time. This is also particularly the case for the term project assignment in week 12 (waiting time 2 weeks).
par Michael d P•
This is not an easy course. I have taken courses with similar titles and aims on other open leaning platforms (e.g. FutureLearn) and this course is much more difficult. It requires students to use sophisticated models (e.g. MODTRAN for atmospheric transmission) numerically. The course asks questions requiring quantitative answers. I have been involved peripherally around issues related to global warming, but I thought that this course would be informative by bringing together many strands. And it was. David Archer speaks clearly and makes simple physics based arguments to explain the role of the models. Overall, I would say that if you are not phased by the requirement to be numerical, and you like a physicists way of thinking, then this course will appeal to you. Personally. I enjoyed it.
par Gael H•
Highly recommended. This course helps understand the physics of climate change, which is quite complex and usually not well understood by policymakers and non-technical media.
This course begins with easy lessons, but the last weeks require a lot of dedication, with assignments that accumulate knowledge from the previous weeks.
Since there are a lot of peer-reviewed assignments, it can take some time before getting a grade and passing. So I would advise to first audit the course and pass all the assignments without the pressure of having to renew payments. You can buy the certificate once you passed all the assignments.
par Yoann H T T•
Great course for independent individuals that wish to do things at their pace and with peer support, playing a role of mentor at times too (through forums and peer-marking). The models available to play with are great fun and really give an insight into how connected things are. What is interesting is how Global Warming is not just an atmosphere problem but everything is involved, from icy poles to life to the Earth's crust. I found the course easy enough to follow and it's totally possible to do it all in less than the recommended 12 weeks, and without much support. Very well presented videos.
par Fahrur R•
Things that can improve from this course is the models as well the phrasing the questions in the model quizzes which can be confusing for students at times. The models can be better if there are 'legends' indicating the labels on the diagrams. The short forms were too confusing and I have to look up for what they actually mean.
But other than that, I have learned a great deal of knowledge on this important issue the world is facing. I am glad that there are possible solutions to alternative energy and I am hopeful for our future.
par Jocelyn C•
It was an amazing class. The content was thorough and I really enjoyed all the models that I got to study. One improvement, however, would be making the peer edits more accessible. I finished this course in three months but then spent the next four waiting for other students from various "sessions" to submit their papers so that I could pass the peer-grading portion. I didn't learn the trick of actively switching between course dates until recently. But overall it was really informative :)
par EDWARD J K I•
Anyone who wishes to discuss the concepts behind GHG driven global warming needs to take this course. It has enough depth to satisfy a graduate chemical engineer like me... not the whole story but a lot more than anyone else wants to present! Professor Archer touches on a whole lot of things that someone new to the field won't really catch on the first pass... but he doesn't avoid anything. Including - most impressively - an execellent (if brief) presentation of the effects of clouds.
Fabulous overview of the science of global warming! I really appreciated the step-by-step approach and the comprehensive coverage of the subject. Playing with the models was highly useful in most cases, though some of the quiz questions related to the models seemed to be overly finicky in the answers they'd accept as correct. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed this course and will be using the knowledge I gained from it as I begin pursuing a Master's in environmental science this summer.
par Ross A•
Thoroughly enjoyed this course. Took a while to establish some basic science principles, but in the end, I had a much better understanding of the key relationships and modelling that is driving global warming. I did use David's text but found Frank P. Incropera's 'Climate Change: A Wicked Problem' (2016) more useful. The course is a bit dated, but still relevant. See en-roads for an interesting way to model the future:
par Florian P•
This is an amazing course! Although dated from 2013, it undoubtedly delivers excellent and still up-to-date knowledge on the basics of climate science. I commend David on creating such a lively course, full of brilliant short video lectures and stimulating quizzes and exercises. The latter are really helpful in fostering an understanding of climate science basics by rethinking learnings on your owns. Thank you for putting such high-quality teaching into this MOOC.
par Sheeba K•
This course has given me insight into the realm of climate change. The quest to learn about climate change started with reading a research paper that I could not understand, completely. So I decided to take up this course. The course has kindled a search in me to know more about climate change and that is not going to stop. There are still some answers that I am looking for, but taking up this course has immensely helped me in my journey.
par Timothy K•
This is an outstanding introduction to climate science. It covers a wide range of disciplines in order to explain the whats and hows of our climate. Dr. Archer presents the material in a way that not only is understandable to newbies in the field, but also presents tantalizing information that makes me (and hopefully, others) want to dig deeper. My only regret is that it doesn't dive deeper.
par Aswan K•
Excellent introduction to the mechanics of global warming. However I think that in some places, students may benefit from animations or video clips rather than just blackboard diagrams.....for example, Coriolis acceleration, Modes of molecular vibrations.
I'm only into week 6, but I'm thoroughly enjoying the material which is a wonderful mix of high school geography, physics, and meteorology.