HBS 7094. Confronting Climate Change: A Foundation in Science, Technology and Policy


  • Professor: Daniel Schrag
  • Term: Fall
  • School: Harvard Business School
  • Course ID: 7094

This is a University course and part of a new initiative with the Office of the Vice Provost Advances in Learning (VPAL). These courses are being deliberately designed to bring the entire Harvard student community together in united class sessions with dedicated sections. All graduate and undergraduate students should enroll in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences version of the course, GENED 1094. EC students would follow cross-registration steps at FAS for the course.

This course will consider the challenge of climate change and what to do about it. Students will be introduced to the basic science of climate change, including the radiation budget of the Earth, the carbon cycle, and the physics and chemistry of the oceans and atmosphere. We will look at reconstructions of climate change through Earth history to provide a context for thinking about present and future changes. We will take a critical look at climate models used to predict climate change in the future, and discuss their strengths and weaknesses, evaluating which forecasts of climate change impacts are robust, and which are more speculative. We will spend particular time discussing sea level rise and extreme weather (including hurricanes, heat waves, and floods). We will look at the complex interactions between climate and human society, including climate impacts on agriculture and the relationship between climate change, migration and conflict. We will also discuss strategies for adapting to climate change impacts, and the implications of those strategies for sub-national and international equity.