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Overview

A stable, predictable climate is an essential life support function of the Earth. Human use of carbon-based fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal has increased the quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that warm the planet. The increase in the Earth's temperature since 1850, and the increase that is forecast to occur over the next 100 years, pose grave risk to all nations. The "climate problem" and the "energy problem" thus are are intimately linked, and must be tackled together.

This Primer is designed for students and instructors in the wide range of classes that cover energy and climate issues, researchers and analysts who study the energy-climate connection, decision-makers involved in energy and climate policy, and anyone interested in gaining insight to this important issue.

The Primer is comprised of the eleven modules listed below, plus enrichment materials and resources including:

  • Student Learning Outcomes
  • Case Studies
  • Key Concepts
  • Review Questions
  • Web-Based, Device Agnostic
  • Highlighting and Annotations
  • Online Glossary integrated into Text

Table of Contents

Module 1: The Nature of Climate Change
Module 2: Hydrocarbons Dominate Global Energy Use
Module 3: Combustion Releases Carbon Dioxide and Black Carbon
Module 4: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Concentrations
Module 5: Global Warming is Caused by Rising Greenhouse Gas Concentrations
Module 6: Huge Quantities of Carbon Remain in the Fossil Fuel Resource Base
Module 7: Reducing Emissions: Theory and Evidence
Module 8: Reducing Emissions: Low-Carbon Energy Sources
Module 9: Reducing Emissions: Energy Efficiency
Module 10: Reducing Emissions: Carbon Capture and Storage
Module 11: Pricing Carbon
Instructor Resources (Instructor access only)
 


About the Author

Cutler J. Cleveland

Dr. Cleveland is the Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University, where he also is on the faculty of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies. Dr. Cleveland is the co-author of Environmental Science, the web's first entirely electronic introductory textbook on the subject, which was authored and published on the Trunity eLearning Platform.  Dr. Cleveland is also the author and editor of acclaimed reference works on energy that include the Encyclopedia of Energy (Elsevier, 2004), winner of an American Library Association award, the Dictionary of Energy (Elsevier, 2005), the Concise Encyclopedia of the History of Energy, and the Handbook of Energy (2 vols.) (Elsevier, 2013, 2014).  He is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Earth, named the Best Geoscience Website by the Geoscience Information Society.

Dr. Cleveland is the recipient of the Adelman-Frankel Award from the United States Association of Energy Economics for “unique and innovative contributions to the field of energy economics.” His research on the valuation of ecosystem services, funded by the National Science Foundation, is highlighted in NSF’s Top Discoveries series. Dr. Cleveland has been a consultant to numerous private and public organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, Charles River Associates, the Energy Information Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Dr. Cleveland holds a B.S. in Ecology from Cornell University, a M.S. in Marine Science from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.