G 184 : Global Climate Change

Covers characteristics of Earth's climate system. Includes the atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, and solid Earth as well as past, present, and future climate change and future mitigation and adaptation efforts. Includes a weekly lab.


Equivalent placement test scores also accepted.

Course Outcomes

After taking this course, students should be able to:

  • Use an Earth system perspective that includes the atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid earth, and biosphere to explain past, present, and future global climate patterns.
  • Identify both human and non-human forcings on the climate system and the system response to these forcings including possible feedback mechanisms.  
  • Use real data to document climate change impacts both globally and in the Pacific Northwest and link these changes to the current scientific understanding of climate change.
  • Make field, laboratory and web based observations and measurements of climate, use scientific reasoning to interpret these observations and measurements, and compare the results with current models of the climate system identifying areas of congruence and discrepancy.
  • Access climate science information from a variety of sources, evaluate the quality of this information, and critically compare this information with current models of the climate system.
  • Use scientifically valid modes of inquiry, individually and collaboratively, to critically assess the hazards and risks posed by climate change, to themselves and society, and evaluate the efficacy of ethically robust responses to these risks.
  • Communicate effectively about Earth’s changing climate, its impacts, and possible responses from an Earth System perspective.

Additional Information

This course fulfills the following GE requirements: Science, Math, Computer Science/ASOT-B, Science, Math, Computer Science/AAS, Science, Math, Computer Science/AGS, Science, Math, Computer Science/AS, Science, Math, Computer Science/AAOT.

Evolution Statement

Regarding the teaching of basic geologic principles (such as geologic time and the theory of evolution), the Portland Community College Geology Department stands by the following statements about what is science.

Science is a fundamentally non-dogmatic and self-correcting investigatory process. A scientific theory is neither a guess, dogma, nor myth. The theories developed through scientific investigation are not decided in advance, but can be and often are modified and revised through observation and experimentation.

“Creation science,” also known as scientific creationism, is not considered a legitimate science, but a form of religious advocacy. This position is established by legal precedence (Webster v. New Lenox School District #122, 917 F.2d 1004).

Geology instructors at Portland Community College will teach the generally accepted basic geologic principles (such as geologic time and the theory of evolution) not as absolute truth, but as the most widely accepted explanation for our observations of the world around us. Instructors will not teach that “creation science” is anything other than pseudoscience.

Because "creation science", "scientific creationism", and "intelligent design" are essentially religious doctrines that are at odds with open scientific inquiry, the Geology/General Sciences SAC at Portland Community College stands with such organizations such as the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, and the American Geological Institute in excluding these doctrines from our science curriculum.

Course Adoption Date

Course Revision Date





Grading Options

Letter Grades


Audit Available