ESA's higher-level training for science excellence, called 'Thru Climate', aims to prepare tertiary-level students to solve climate-related problems in different economic sectors, from water, to food, to energy, and the natural environment.
The Thru Climate training activities include a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) and a summer school. The courses are available online on a learning management platform (CANVAS) and are offered regularly by the faculty of Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation at Twente University, The Netherlands.
Students' skills are developed through challenges that introduce scientific and analytical concepts through active learning. The challenges are subdivided into sub-challenges based on the consequences of climate change for people, planet, and profit. The sub-challenges are as follows, with more under development - student-driven sub-challenges are also encouraged:
Sea level rise: quantify sea-level rise using the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) data records of sea level, polar ice sheets, glaciers, sea ice, and sea surface temperature.
Drought: understand and quantify drought using the CCI data records of soil moisture, land surface temperature, and land cover.
Food security: understand crop production, and identify and quantify zones at risk of crop failure, using the CCI climate data records of biomass, fire, soil moisture, sea level, land surface temperature, and land cover.
Oceans as carbon pools: understand how much the oceanic phytoplankton stores CO2, identify algal bloom patterns using the CCI's datasets for atmospheric CO2, ocean colour, sea surface temperature, sea surface salinity, sea level, and sea state.
Each sub-challenge will be tackled by a group of collaborative learners at MSc & BSc levels with transdisciplinary knowledge fields: geospatial science, engineering, and natural resources management. There are no entry requirements.
First, participants are introduced to the core principles of climate change and Essential Climate Variables (ECVs). Second, groups are formed to focus on a sub-challenge (sea level rise, drought, food security, and ocean carbon). Third, the learning experiences of the groups are integrated into peer-to-peer learning sessions.
All exercises and activities will be focused on the manipulation of CCI climate data records and use of the CCI Toolbox.