Spring 2020 - GEOG 414 D100

Climate Change (4)

Class Number: 3791

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 4140, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Kirsten Zickfeld
    1 778 782-9047
    Office: RCB 6238
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 314.



An examination of recent advances in climate change science drawing upon observational and theoretical studies; application of climate models. Quantitative.


Course Details: This course examines current topics in climate change research, with a focus on the science but also consideration of societal and policy aspects. Topics to be discussed include observed climate changes, attribution of these changes to natural and/or anthropogenic causes, climate models, 21st century projections of future climate changes at regional and global scales, long-term climate changes, biophysical and socio-economic impacts, vulnerability, adaptation to climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, geoengineering, climate stabilization, international climate policy. The focus of the laboratory sessions is on climate modelling and data analysis. Students will be introduced to modelling concepts through the use and implementation of simple models. They will also be introduced to data analysis using data from a global climate model.

Course organization: The course is organized around one two-hour lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week. Lectures consist of presentations by the instructor and/or students, followed by class discussion. Lab sessions will be used for work on specific assignments and the term project. Lab attendance and participation is required.

There WILL BE lab sessions in the 1st week.


  • Lab assignments 20%
  • Tests 25%
  • Term project 30%
  • Research article presentation 10%
  • Research article summaries 5%
  • Participation 10%



There is no formal textbook for this course. A reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the term. Readings include papers from the primary research literature (available through the library) and sections from the Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (available online).

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html