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The Climate System


This course teach you the basics about the global climate system. You will learn about climate variations and climatological processes and how those affects the global and local climate. 

Course contents

In the course you will learn about the global and regional climatology:

  • what causes the largescale differences in the energy budget
  • the different components of the global climate system
  • the physical characteristics and the chemical composition of the atmosphere
  • the global and regional energy flows in the atmosphere

You will also learn about the general atmospheric circulation and the coupling between oceans and atmosphere with its role in the energy exchange. After this course you will have an improved understanding of:

  • the components affecting the energy balance of the atmosphere on different spatial- and time scales
  • the relationship between the composition of weather-systems and their variations

You will be able to explain natural and antropogenetic causes to variation in weather. You will have learned basic climatological analysis methods and how to adapt and evaluate climate analysis to environmetal and social applications.


Teaching consists of lectures, practicals, field exercises, seminars, group exercises and project work.


The course book by Stull is available without cost over the internet while the course book by Ahrens and Henson needs to be purchased. Note that it may take time to order the printed version of the Ahrens and Henson book, so if you prefer the printed version, it is a good idea to order or buy it before the course starts.

  • Meteorology Today: An Introduction to Weather, Climate and the Environment, 13th Edition, C. Donald Ahrens. ISBN: 9780357452073, BrooksCole.

The newest edition of the book (edition 13, 2022) should also be available online. If you prefer hardback and cannot find ed 13, the editions 11 or 12 are ok alternatives.

  • Roland Stull (2011): Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers, 3rd Edition Copyright © 2011, 2017. The book is available online at this link (links to an external site).

We may also use some parts of the updated version of Roland Stulls book: Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-based Survey of Atmospheric Science. Link to the online book.



Course coordinator

Course facts: NGEA21

Level: Basic
Credits: 15 ECTS
Period: Spring, period 1
Language of instruction: English
Prerequisites: General admission requirements, and either: NGEA01 or the equivalent and NGEA07 or the equivalent, or, 30 ECTS within the BSc programs for Meteorology and Biogeophysics.

 Course syllabus

For current students