Specialisation streams: Climate Change
Climate Change

This stream will provide students with - an understanding of the causes of climate change globally and within the Caribbean;  knowledge of current climate trends and projections for the Caribbean; an appreciation of potential impacts of climate change on natural and socio-economic systems in the region; knowledge of adaptive and mitigative measures available to buffer the impacts; an understanding of the regional and international policy framework within which climate change is addressed; and with the negotiation skills required to make significant contributions at regional and international climate change meetings and Conventions.


The four specialisation courses offered in this stream are:

ENVT 6130 Climate Dynamics and Modelling

This course develops knowledge and skills for modelling and simulating climate and interpreting the results from climate models. It demonstrates the contribution and relevance of interdisciplinary research and policy considerations as inputs to climate modelling.

Topics include:  constituents, structure and primary atmospheric processes;  the global energy balance;  atmospheric radiative transfer theory;  the energy and moisture balances of the Earth’s surface;  climate sensitivity and climate feedback mechanisms;  weather, climate and climate variability;  global oceanic circulation;  climate driving forces, including greenhouse gases and their effects;  anthropogenic aerosols and volcanic eruptions;  ultraviolet radiation, ozone and CFCs;  numerical modelling and climate models;  scaling issues and limitations of General Circulation Models;  monitoring, observation and modelling of past climates and trends; global warming, hurricanes and El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO);  future climate trends and changes.
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ENVT 6131 Policy Response to Climate Change

This course evaluates a broad suite of policy approaches to GHG reduction and climate stabilization, in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement. It develops knowledge and skills for policy formulation, and for strengthening negotiating capacity to further regional interests in the global climate change debate.

Topics include: the international policy response; UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement as instruments for atmospheric stabilization; policy approaches of developed and developing countries; negotiating positions of major UN Groups: European Union (EU), Japan-United States-Canada-Australia-New Zealand (JUSCANZ), Group of 77 and China (G77), Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and others; application of key negotiating tenets, including the precautionary principle and common but differentiated responsibilities; exploring elements of a CARICOM negotiating position. In addition, the course is a forum for disseminating continuous information to students on CARICOM and SIDS initiatives in the areas of adaptation and mitigation, and also provides updates on the significance of outcomes of the Conference of the Parties (CoP), which are held annually. 
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ENVT 6133 Climate Change Impacts: Mitigation and Adaptation

Climate change poses significant risks to the stability and maintenance of global bio-geophysical processes, resources, economies, and societies. These risks have been amplified since the start of the Industrial Revolution and will continue to be exacerbated as global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from anthropogenic activities remain largely unabated.  Both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have identified an urgent need for the implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies at global, regional and local scales, in order to ‘prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’ (UNFCCC,  Article2). While all nations will be impacted by climate change, the consequences are expected to be severe and overwhelmingly adverse for Small Island Developing States and vulnerable regions such as the Caribbean, whose economic and social development is heavily dependent on the natural capital with which these countries are endowed. Without the swift implementation of efficacious climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, achievement of the goal of sustainable development will be most challenging for these vulnerable Caribbean states.
 
With a focus on SIDS, the course examines the observed and projected impacts of climate change (adverse and beneficial), and the role of mitigation and adaptation interventions (and their evaluation) in minimizing the negative effects of change. The course will also explore the potential for climate change to cause shifts in marine boundaries, and potential international, regional and national responses. The course facilitates understanding of adaptation concepts, frameworks and tools, and the use of various instruments (e.g. tradable emission permits, taxes, insurance schemes) in the implementation of adaptation and mitigation strategies. Students will survey sector-specific adaptation and mitigation options and the potential for strategies in one sector to result in maladaptation in another.
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ENVT XXXX Disaster Risk and Resilience in Caribbean Tourism

This course explores the concept of disaster risk reduction for the tourism sector, paying attention to its complementarity to issues such as sustainable tourism and climate change adaptation. In addition, it recognises that the majority of persons employed in the tourism sector (both formal and informal) are women, and that women and men experience different levels of hazard exposure and risk – therefore the concept of gender mainstreaming will also be explored.

The course is designed for individuals who have an interest in or work in the tourism sector, with a specific view of understanding and responding to hazards that impact tourism and travel.  It aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to apply disaster risk reduction principles and strategies to enhance the resilience and sustainability of the Caribbean tourism sector.
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