OSHR 1609 - Climate 101: How the Earth's Climate Works

  • Noncredit

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

Learn how the Earth’s climate really works: how the Earth balances heat between incoming sunlight and the cold void of interplanetary space; heat storage in the tropics and the flow of heat to the poles by winds, weather, and ocean currents; the slow march of continents; the 1000-year conveyor belt of energy through the deepest seas; and the relentless grinding of the polar ice.

Discover how climate changes in the past have shaped and have been shaped by the Earth itself, and how the breathing of living things has developed. Learn how people have adapted to climate, and how the Earth’s climate is changing today.

Reading: Ruddiman, William, Earth’s Climate: Past and Future, W. H. Freeman; 3rd edition (October 1, 2013), ISBN-13: 978-1429255257 ($103 from Amazon)

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.


Scott Denning

Scott Denning is Monfort Professor of Atmospheric Science, and leads a research group studying carbon and climate. His lifelong fascination with the world in which we live led him to a Bachelor’s degree in Geology, jobs in the oil industry, years of field work in Rocky Mountain National Park, a PhD in climate science, and a rewarding hobby in amateur astronomy. One of the most enthusiastic teachers you’ll ever meet, he is a frequent public speaker.