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  UGEB 2114 氣候、能源與生命
Climate, Energy & Life

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Course Description
Number of Units: 3
Lecture Hours: 3 hours/week
Course Teacher: Prof. LAM Chiu Ying (
Language of instruction: Cantonese
a photo of the lecture
Course Outline

This course presents the story of the Earth's atmosphere since its inception up to the current time, illustrating the close interactions between the physical world and the living world. The life phenomenon is discussed, including the role of energy and information in the sustenance of life, individually and collectively. The human condition, the emergence of civilization, the conflict between nomads and pastoralists, and maritime colonialism are discussed in the climate context. Industrial revolution and consumerism are discussed in terms of their energy consumption and associated emission of greenhouse gases, which has given rise to man-made climate change. How human society would deal with hazardous climate change will be explored. It would be a time to reflect on core human values and how they are to be expressed in the inevitable low-energy world.

At the end of the course, students are expected:

  • to develop a comprehensive understanding of natural and anthropogenic dimensions of climate change from a multi-disciplinary perspective, involving climatology, geography, history, biology, and culture and political studies
  • to appreciate how climate change is associated with the complex interactions between the physical world and human society, in historical and recent times
  • to realize the phenomenal impact of consumerism, with its attendant energy expenditure, on the Earth's climate in the last half century
  • to understand the imminent challenges posed by global warming and to be able to formulate and promote relevant measures for the sustainable development of human beings
  • to develop their own informed views on climate change (and other global environmental issues) and to be able to contribute to relevant public discourse
  • to reflect on their personal role in changing the Earth’s climate for the better

a chart of CO2
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Highlight of Topics
氣候 - 生命的氣息
2. 生命 - 能量的流動
3. 流動 - 自然的循環
4. 冰河 - 人性的塑造
5. 氣候 - 生物的分布
6. 溫暖 - 農牧的出現
7. 豐裕 - 文明的福禍
8. 波動 - 歷史的軌跡
9. 季風 - 帝國的助力
10. 煤油 - 燃燒的時代
11. 巨變 - 人為的氣候
12. 危機 - 自然的失衡
13. 中國 - 艱難的巨人
14. 未來 - 應對的選擇
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Please also refer to the information in the Office of University General Education and CUHK Undergraduate Handbook
(Select Curriculum and then Course Details)