Course Description

Course Name

Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations

Session: VSJF1121

Hours & Credits

60 Contact Hours

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This course is an introduction to understand climate change, its causes,
consequences and the effects is having on natural populations of plants and
animals across the planet, including humans. Mankind is facing several
problems due to climate change, and these effects may likely increase ine near
future. As temperatures keep increasing, producing major effects on all habitat
types, how can animals and plants adapt to such rapid changes? And what are
we as humans responsible for global warming are dealing with it? Can we
actually answer these questions? Do we have the knowledge to reverse the
ongoing conditions, and if so, what is being done worldwide? Finally how is the
?political weather? addressing the climate change?
I. Understand climate change, causes and consequences.
II. Comprehend the effects of climate change on worldwide habitats and the
natural populations occupying them.
III. Analyze the evidence supporting climate change, and learn how to discuss
it with an exceptic.
Unit 1. Weather, climate and climate change
- Climate systems
- Climate change: definition and causes
- Global warming
- Regional and global climate changes
- Seasonal climate variability: El Niño and other climate phenomenon´s
- Historical climate
Unit 2. Climate change consequences on natural habitats and their
- Effects on habitats
- Climate as an evolutionary force
- Global extinctions due to climate
- Changes in distribution and community assemblages
- Impacts on humans
Unit 3. Adaptation and mitigation
- Carbon emissions sequestration
- Mitigation: reducing the impacts
- Adaptation
- Ecosystems based adaptation
Unit 4. Policy, politics and economics of Climate Change
- Politics of climate change
- Country´s policies
- From Kyoto to Paris? resolutions
- The future of climate change policies
Students are only allowed two (2) non consecutive absences (justified or not).
The student will fail the course if he/she has more than 2 absences. Students
will have a 0 on any assignment evaluated in class (presentations, evaluations,
field trips, etc.) if he/she is absent in this class, unless an official document is
presented to justify the absence the class after. In this case the assignment will
be done that day.
Field trips
This course includes two mandatory field trips, Choices will depend on climate
and availability. Lodging and main meals are covered by the course.
Field trip report
Students must do a report of the field trip. This report includes a summary of
the sites visited and activities done, plus the assignments ask during the field
trip. The report is individual and must be deliver one week after the field trip, it
has to be sent to the professor?s e-mail on word or pdf format, in times new
roman font, size 12, 1.15 or 1.5 line spacing and it must not be larger than 10
The evaluation of the report will consist of two parts, 70% on the content of the
report and 30% on the behavior (punctuality, participation, etc.) during the field
trip. Both field trips assistance are obligatory, an unjustified absence to any of
them will immediately mean failing the course.
Students will have to make two (2) individual presentations. The first
presentation can be about any subject concerning the course topics, or a topics
not covered but related to the course, and has to be approved by the professor.
The second presentation includes a research paper about online data related
to climate change. Presentations must be made on PowerPoint and should last
about 15 minutes. The professor, depending on the subject will assign the date
for the presentation.
For All Presentations:
It will be evaluated based on preparation (knowledge assimilation),
presentation style (organization, smoothness and clarity), slides (clarity,
aesthetics), finishing on time, and answering questions. All presentations must
be made on the assigned date, if not the grade will be 0 (unless the absence is
Electronic devices:
The use of cell phones, smartphones, or other mobile communication devices
is distracting, and is therefore prohibited during class. All devices must be
turned OFF during the class. Devices may be used ONLY when the professor
assigns a specific activity and allows the use of them. Those who fail to comply
with the rule must leave the classroom for the remainder of the class period.
Individual presentations (2) 40 % (20 each)
Midterm tests (2) 30 % (15 each)
Field trip reports (2) 20 % (10 each)
Class participation 10 %
Dessler, A. (2015). Introduction to modern climate change. Cambridge
University Press.
Hannah, L. 2014. Climate change biology. Academic Press.
Morhart, J. E. 2016. Climate change, ecology, health. Cloudripper Press.
Pelling, M. 2010. Adaptation to Climate Change, from resilience to
Taylor and Francis.

*Course content subject to change