||Seminar, one hour. Discussion of and critical thinking about topics of current intellectual importance, taught by faculty members in their areas of expertise and illuminating many paths of discovery at UCLA. P/NP grading.
Class Description: Global climate is controlled by rate of energy entering atmosphere from sun, heating Earth's surface, which then re-radiates solar energy back to space. Most energy arriving from sun is at visible wavelengths, while most energy that emerges is at infrared wavelengths. Carbon dioxide is transparent to visible light but acts as blanket, slowing escape of infrared radiation: this is essence of greenhouse effect. It causes environment to warm on average, yet produce extremes in weather due to other environmental variables. Each American puts approximately 19 tons of carbon dioxide into atmosphere each year, approximately 200 times body weight. Human-produced greenhouse gases represent nearly 1/4 of that in our atmosphere. Exploration of many facets of global change and how we can alter utilization of resources to restore environmental balance. Consideration of various energy alternatives, including nuclear, solar, wind, and other modes of power production.