University of Alberta
Introduction to the Arctic: Climate
University of Alberta

Introduction to the Arctic: Climate

Taught in English

Some content may not be translated

16,222 already enrolled


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Paul Myers, Ph.D

Instructor: Paul Myers, Ph.D


(480 reviews)

8 hours to complete
3 weeks at 2 hours a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

Details to know

Shareable certificate

Add to your LinkedIn profile


4 quizzes

See how employees at top companies are mastering in-demand skills


Earn a career certificate

Add this credential to your LinkedIn profile, resume, or CV

Share it on social media and in your performance review


There are 4 modules in this course

This course is about the remarkable northern regions of the earth, the Arctic! Although sometimes considered remote and dangerous, the Arctic is home to many peoples, along with the ecosystems that they coexist with. Researchers from many fields, both scientists and non-scientists, study this vast circumpolar region to understand the environment, peoples, animals, economies, and resources. You’ll soon learn about the environments (the characteristics of the natural world) and climate (the prevailing atmospheric, oceanic and ice conditions) of the world’s North.

What's included

4 videos6 readings1 quiz

In this lesson we’ll learn about the climate of the Arctic, and the way the climate interacts with the rest of the Earth system. In Lesson 1, we saw how the Earth receives energy from the sun and how heat is trapped on our planet through the natural greenhouse effect. We will now discuss how this energy is distributed throughout the globe and how it is transferred from the tropics to the poles via the large-scale circulation systems of the atmosphere and the ocean. We’ll learn the difference between the natural and the human-induced greenhouse effect - driven by the input of greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels, such as carbon dioxide and methane - and discuss what the future holds for the Arctic’s climate. As you will see, the global climate system is tightly linked and climate change in the Arctic also strongly affects temperate latitudes.

What's included

6 videos2 readings1 quiz

In this lesson, we’ll be learning about the Arctic cryosphere, which is the portion of the Earth’s surface where water occurs in solid forms. Such as snow and ice! In Lesson 2, we talked about atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Now we will learn about when and how ice forms on the surface of the Earth, including such topics as: sea ice, river ice, glaciers , and permafrost. How all this ice formed on the ocean and on (and in) the land? How it relates to the atmosphere and ocean?

What's included

4 videos1 reading1 quiz

In this lesson, we’ll be learning about the implications of climate change. Through the first 3 lessons, we’ve learned a great deal about the Arctic environment. This environment is rapidly changing, largely due to industrial human activity throughout the world. You’ll remember the natural greenhouse effect that we discussed in Lesson 1. Carbon dioxide and water vapour are among the naturally occurring greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. They trap outgoing longwave radiation, raising the average temperature of the Earth. We will learn and discuss how sea ice and glaciers react to changes in our atmosphere and oceans. We will then discuss the implications of the changing environment on ecosystems, wildlife and humans.

What's included

4 videos1 reading1 quiz


Instructor ratings
4.4 (115 ratings)
Paul Myers, Ph.D
University of Alberta
1 Course16,222 learners

Offered by

Recommended if you're interested in Environmental Science and Sustainability

Why people choose Coursera for their career

Felipe M.
Learner since 2018
"To be able to take courses at my own pace and rhythm has been an amazing experience. I can learn whenever it fits my schedule and mood."
Jennifer J.
Learner since 2020
"I directly applied the concepts and skills I learned from my courses to an exciting new project at work."
Larry W.
Learner since 2021
"When I need courses on topics that my university doesn't offer, Coursera is one of the best places to go."
Chaitanya A.
"Learning isn't just about being better at your job: it's so much more than that. Coursera allows me to learn without limits."

Learner reviews

Showing 3 of 480


480 reviews

  • 5 stars


  • 4 stars


  • 3 stars


  • 2 stars


  • 1 star



Reviewed on Sep 10, 2020


Reviewed on May 16, 2020


Reviewed on Jan 3, 2018


Open new doors with Coursera Plus

Unlimited access to 7,000+ world-class courses, hands-on projects, and job-ready certificate programs - all included in your subscription

Advance your career with an online degree

Earn a degree from world-class universities - 100% online

Join over 3,400 global companies that choose Coursera for Business

Upskill your employees to excel in the digital economy

Frequently asked questions