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GE483 Climate Change

Course description for academic year 2022/2023

Contents and structure

The course is structured into a meteorology part (~2 weeks) and a climatology part (~4 weeks). The students are introduced to basic meteorology concepts such as the structure of the atmosphere, Earth's energy balance, fundamental weather elements (air temperature, humidity, precipitation, clouds, air pressure, and winds), weather forcast and the polar front theory. Various weather systems and phenomena will also be explained.

The climatology part provides a palaeoclimatic overview from the Last Glacial Maximum to present-day and future climate. The focus is on natural and anthropogenic climatic controls on different temporal and spatial scales. Topics include the carbon cycle, solar orbital variations, greenhouse warming, and ocean-atmosphere-land interactions. We study research methods used to investigate archives of past climate changes. We discuss and outline possible changes that will occur in Earth's climate within the coming centuries.

Learning Outcome



  • gain a good understanding of what determines and drives the climate system on Earth today.
  • understand and know the most important methods used to reconstruct past climate changes from different natural archives and are able to see the difficulties and shortcomings involved in such reconstructions.
  • gain knowledge of the climate changes that has occurred through geological time and a good understanding of the theories that explain them.
  • gain a detailed understanding of the climate changes that took place over the last 10,000 years.
  • gain a good perception of the latest theories and models for climate change in the future.


Students learn to:

  • construct isobar maps, isotherm maps and place fronts on maps.
  • gather and report information on weather events.

General competence


  • gain competence in basic meteorological processes and past, present and future climate change.
  • learn about the structure of the atmosphere, the ocean and the land surface, and how they interact in a climatic context.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

GE-406 Introduction to Geology

Teaching methods

Lessons, exercises, and a two-day mandatory assignment.

Compulsory learning activities

  • Minimum four approved exercises
  • Approved mandatory assignment


Oral examination in English or Norwegian, 15 minutes, plus 20 minutes preparation without any study aids.

Grading A-F.

Examination support material


More about examination support material

Course reductions

  • GE489 - Past and Present Climate - Reduction: 7.5 studypoints