Jump to content

GE483 Climate Change

Course description for academic year 2020/2021

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), 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. 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 feedback mechanisms. 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

The students gain

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



The students:

  • Have 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 be able to see the difficulties and shortcomings involved in such reconstructions.
  • Have knowledge of the climate changes that has occurred through geological time and a good understanding of the theories that explain them.
  • Have a detailed understanding of the climate changes that took place over the last 10,000 years.
  • Have a good perception of the latest theories and models for climate change in the future.

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

GE-406 Introduction to Geology

Teaching methods

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

Compulsory learning activities

Approved at least four exercises. Approved the mandatory assignment.


Oral exam 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