Weather and climate influence our lives at many levels, from daily life to apocalyptic visions of the future. In recent years, debates about the role of human agency in climate change have become a central feature in environmental and political discourse. The contested role of humans as a force of global climate change has even led to the classification of a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. This course explores the history of scientific ideas and practices, beginning in the 18th century, that serve as the foundation for modern conceptions of the weather and climate as a global system. Our aim is to put current scientific debates on climate change into historical and critical perspective as we seek to understand the ways climate has been interpreted and understood over time, both within and outside the scientific community.

Syllabi:
- Fall 2013
- Fall 2014