Lecture 01: Introduction to Climate Science


Welcome to Lecture 1: Introduction to Climate Science. In this lecture we will be covering the following topics:

  • Climate vs. Weather
  • History of Climate Science
    • Joseph Fournier
    • John Tyndall
    • Svante Arrhennius
    • Charles Keeling
  • Earth's Changing Climate
    • Energy from the Sun
    • Albedo
    • The Greenhouse Effect
  • Our atmosphere

Dave Reay

This lecture is given by Professor Dave Reay.

Dave Reay is a Professor of Carbon Management, the Programme Director of the Carbon Management MSc and Education Assistant Principal. Dave's research interests are in climate change and its interaction with greenhouse gas fluxes in managed and natural ecosystems around the world. Much of his work focuses on how changing land use can either exacerbate or mitigate future climate change, and how land use can be made more resilient to the future impacts of climate change.

Dave studied Marine Biology at Liverpool University and graduated in 1994. He went on to gain a PhD with the British Antarctic Survey and Essex University studying the response of Southern Ocean algae and bacteria to global warming. After gaining his doctorate he continued working as a post-doc at Essex, investigating the impact of land-use on the soil methane sink. In 2001 he moved to Edinburgh University to investigate emissions of the greenhouse gas 'nitrous oxide' from agriculture, then carbon fluxes in forests, and went on to become a Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Fellow examining greenhouse gas emissions from wetlands and agriculture. In 2008 Dave became the university's first lecturer in carbon management, became a senior lecturer in 2009 and a professor in 2014. He is designer and editor of the climate change science website Greenhouse Gas Online and of the Southern Ocean: Antarctic Seas and Wildlife website.

Dave enjoys running (on an annual basis), Test Match Special, and writing stories for his daughters.


In addition to the course readings, there are some readings which are recommended for this particular lecture. These readings can be found in the resources panel.