Antarctica in a Changing Climate

Explores the exceptional aspects of the Antarctic climate and its ecosystems, looking at the current and future impacts of environmental change, including climate change.


Key course information


Duration: 8 weeks

Weekly study: 6 hours

Antarctica in a Changing Climate photo

Protecting Antarctica's Future: Learn about the Region’s Characteristics, Human Interactions with it and Antarctic Governance

This course introduces you to the biophysical characteristics of the Southern polar region, human interactions with the Antarctic and Southern Ocean and Antarctic governance. You will hear about commercial operations in the Antarctic, including tourism and fishing, and how these activities are regulated and managed. The course has particular focus on current environmental policies in place to protect Antarctica and future policy and governance needs.

Exploring Climate, Ecosystems & Governance in Antarctica's Changing Environments

The exceptional nature of Antarctic climate systems and the region’s marine and terrestrial ecosystems will be explored. You will learn about the specific adaptations of the marine megafauna to Antarctic extremes, both in terms of temperature and daylight variations. The course also explores the current state of health of Southern Ocean and Antarctic environments and potential future states of health, taking into consideration climate predictions drawing on the latest earth system models. A suite of potential implications of environmental change for the future of Antarctic governance will also be examined.

What will you achieve?

By the end of this course, you will be able to….

  • Discuss the unique governance regime for the Antarctic;

  • Describe the global climate system, with a focus on the role played by the Antarctic;

  • Appreciate the impacts of climate change on Antarctic ecosystems;

  • Show awareness of the key characteristics of marine Antarctic fauna, including whales, penguins and seals; and

  • Think creatively about possible climate futures and their implications for Antarctic governance and ecosystems.

Who is this course for?

This is course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about the Antarctic region. Specifically, it could be for Antarctic educators and science communicators, climate scientists, conservationists, ecologists, environmental economists and managers, glaciologists, humanities scholars and social scientists, marine biologists, meteorologists, physicists, policymakers and diplomats, and anyone interested in working in the Antarctic or those with an interest in science outreach.

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