The Australian National University (ANU) offers a wide range of courses covering a broad spectrum of climate-related topics – Earth System science, climate law, international climate policy, climate and fire, and many others. Integrative degree structures such as the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (Sustainability) provide innovative ways to create climate change-related degrees.
The Master of Climate Change degree offers students unique breadth and diversity in addressing the many dimensions of climate change through access to world-leading experts in climate science and policy. The Green Information Communications Technology Strategies (Green ICT) course teaches students how they can help reduce carbon emissions when using computers and telecommunications equipment.
The Master of Energy Change commences in February 2012. Candidates for higher degrees by research may apply at any time. Course subjects include the energy technologies, economics, regulation and policy.
The Climate Change Institute facilitates other creative approaches to education on climate change – such as the participation of ANU students as observers at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the parties in Bali (2007), Copenhagen (2009) and Durban (2011).
Summer Research Scholars
In keeping with CCI's mission of supporting climate change education, the Institute awards two young scholars from around the world, a scholarship for approximately eight weeks from mid–November to late January.
The undergraduate students from the physical, natural and social sciences/humanities working on aspects of climate change, are provided an opportunity to:
- undertake a short research project
- engage with key Australian–based scholars working on various aspects of climate change
- get exposure to representatives of the climate change policy community
- enhance their networking opportunities and career paths.
ANU Climate Change Institute Summer Research Project 2011–2012
The Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau, also known as the Water Tower of Asia or the Third Pole, is of great importance to the global climate system, and is the source of water for millions of people living in High Asia and downstream catchment areas. Scientific data collected from across the region has shown that temperatures are warming in the Himalayas, with acceleration in recent years. Higher temperatures are contributing to permafrost melt and landslides as well as the rapid retreat of small glaciers at lower elevations with severe implications for seasonal river flows. Changes in the Asia Monsoon System have also been observed with a notable difference in rainfall between arid and non-arid regions.
The glaciers and forested mountain slopes of the HTP also constitute the headwaters of the major rivers of South, East and Southeast Asia including the Indus, Brahamaputra and Ganges that sustain approximately 1.3 million population who are dependent primarily on subsistence agriculture. Ecosystem services relating to biodiversity, cultural heritage, and energy supplies are also adversely affected. Overall impacts of climate change are likely to be greatest on poor communities that are least able to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The aim of this project is to conduct a desk-top scoping study to identify key livelihood groups that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The project will have a sub-regional focus on one particular site within the Ganges basin. The results of this project will make an important contribution towards a much larger multilateral research program on Climate Change and the Third Pole.
- Dr Katherine Morton
ANU Department of International Relations
- Dr Lance Heath
ANU Climate Change Institute