Understanding Climate Change


Professor Myles Allen (Oxford University, 45 mins)

In 2018, Oxford University Professor Myles Allen was invited to give expert testimony in a lawsuit filed against fossil-fuel companies. The judge wanted answers to questions on the physics of climate change, as well as a timeline of people’s understanding of the issues.

The presentation is exceptionally clear – and it’s helpfully broken up into 5 sections, so that you can watch it in chunks. The first of them is embedded below. You can see them all at the end of Professor Allen’s  blog on the experience.

Prof. Kevin Anderson – Climate’s Holy Trinity (University of Manchester)

What is our current situation? And could ‘cogency, tenacity and courage’ deliver the Paris Agreement? Excellent lecture from a leading climate scientist. Part of the Oxford Climate Society’s ‘School of Climate Change’ series

Helen Johnson (Oxford University Climate Society – 1 hr)

The Oxford Climate Society runs a ‘School of Climate Change’. This was the opening presentation – on the science of climate change. The presenter is Helen Johnson (University Lecturer at the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford).

The presentation is pitched at an intermediate level and assumes a willingness to engage with principles of physics. Look on the Oxford Climate Society website for further presentations.

Prophetic Indigenous Voices on the Planetary Crisis – Aotearoa & Polynesia

Really to understand climate impacts, we need to hear the voices of those experiencing them. Here you can listen to people from the Pacific region, explaining what they are seeing.



The advent of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has made it possible to learn about topics from experts around the world … at your own pace and in your own home. The courses below will help you gain a more in-depth understanding of the science of climate change and climate impacts.

Our Earth: Its Climate, History and Processes (Univ of Manchester – Coursera) – beginner level, 14 hours to complete

Global Warming 1: The Science and Modelling of Climate Change (University of Chicago – Coursera) – intermediate level, 39 hours to complete. It’s relatively technical – but if you want to go deeper and really to try to understand the science, this course is highly recommended.

Distance learning

The Christian Rural and Environmental Studies programme – a collaboration of the John Ray Initiative, A Rocha and Ripon College Cuddesdon offers certificate and diploma programmes.  The expert input and guidance is excellent, and the course integrates science and theology, and is kept affordable to reduce bars to access. Well worth exploring.