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Climate Change and its Impacts on the Environment


Course contents

In this course, you will learn about the climate system and climate models. You will then use modelling scenarios to study global and regional climate change and their potential effects on e.g.:

  • hydrology
  • ecosystems and ecosystem processes
  • biodiversity
  • biogeography
  • extreme events
  • the cryosphere
  • atmospheric chemistry
  • the oceans

Methods of detecting climate change are also covered.

The two focus points for the course are:

  1. understanding the causal links that can explain variations and changes in climate, both in the past and in the future, with particular attention to greenhouse gases, the carbon cycle and climate feedbacks, and
  2. understanding the impact of these variations and changes in climate on other components of the Earth system, at local, regional and global scales.

Observational data, climate models, ecosystem models and modelling scenarios are used to practice the critical analysis of e.g. data representativity, modelling assumptions and validation against independent information.


Teaching consists of lectures, practical and supervised modelling assignments, group discussions and project work. Practicals, modelling assignments, group projects, and the course elements associated with these, are compulsory.


(Recommended - Not compulsory)
Main: Global Warming: The Complete Briefing (4th Edition), by John Houghton

Further reading:
Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast, by David Archer.
Various additional articles and reports will be suggested during the course

Course coordinator

Course facts

Level: Advanced
Credits: 15 ECTS
Period: Autumn, period 2
Language of instruction: English
Prerequisites: General admission requirements and 90 ECTS in science

Course syllabus (pdf, 221 kb, new window)