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The ocean’s role in the climate system on geological time scales

  • 7.5 credits

This course introduces students to the role of the ocean in long term climate change.

Information for admitted students Autumn 2020

Congratulations! You have been admitted at Stockholm University and we hope that you will enjoy your studies with us.

In order to ensure that your studies begin as smoothly as possible we have compiled a short checklist for the beginning of the semester.

Follow the instructions on wether you have to reply to your offer or not.


Checklist for admitted students

  1. Activate your university account

    The first step in being able to register and gain access to all the university's IT services.

  2. Register at your department

    Registration can be done in different ways. Read the instructions from your department below.

  3. Read all the information on this page

    Here you will find what you need to know before your course or programme starts.


Your seat may be withdrawn if you do not register according to the instructions provided by your department.

Welcome activities

Stockholm University organises a series of welcome activities that stretch over a few weeks at the beginning of each semester. The programme is voluntary (attendance is optional) and includes Arrival Service at the airport and an Orientation Day, see more details about these events below.
Your department may also organise activities for welcoming international students. More information will be provided by your specific department. 

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man holding a robot remote vessel in the water, with an arctic view in front of him

It will cover different types of ocean-climate interactions going back from the Eocene 40 million years ago to today and into the future. Students will learn what the role is of climate, the geography of the continents and ice-sheets on the ocean circulation. The course will describe how the ocean in turn affects climate by transporting heat around the globe and taking up or releasing carbon dioxide. Learning will be facilitated through lectures, exercises, demonstrations, group discussions, literature reviews, and presentations.

Fall term 20 | The course is planed to be given "as usual", with lectures and group discussions on-site. Students who cannot attend the classes on campus due to being in a risk group or living with someone in a risk group, please contact the course director,, as soon as possible so that an alternative teaching plan can be developed for those students.

Course content

• basic climate dynamics with a focus on climate variations above geological time
• the role of the ocean during climate transitions
• the importance of plate tectonics and the geography of the continents for the ocean circulation
• the importance of ocean circulation for the climate through its transport of heat and its impact on the carbon cycle
• the interaction between the ocean and the cryosphere

  • Course structure

    The teaching consists of lectures, group lessons, seminars, exercises, and project work.


    a. Knowledge control is done through written tests, written reports, and oral reports. Late submission of written reports has consequences for the course's final grade, which is further described in the course's grading criteria. Examination takes place in English.

    The examiner has the opportunity to decide on an adapted or alternative examination for students with disabilities.

    b. To pass the final grade, participation in seminars and project work is required. If special reasons exist, the examiner may, after consultation with the relevant teacher, grant the student exemption from the obligation to participate in certain compulsory teaching.

    c. The course's final grade is set according to a seven-grade goal-related scale:
    A = Excellent
    B = Very good
    C = Good
    D = Satisfactory
    E = Sufficient
    Fx = Fail, some more work is required
    F = Fail, much more work is required

    e. Students who fail in regular exams are entitled to undergo further exams as long as the course is given. The number of test cases is not limited. Other compulsory course parts are also compared with tests. Students who have passed the examination may not undergo a re-examination for higher grades. A student, who has passed two tests for a course or part of a course without approved results, has the right to have another examiner appointed, unless special reasons speak against it. The request for this shall be made to the Institutional Board. The course has at least three examination opportunities per academic year in the years in which teaching is given. For those academic years that the course is not given, at least one examination opportunity is offered.

    f. The grade Fx is given the opportunity to supplement up to the grade E. The examiner decides on which supplementary tasks to be performed and what criteria apply to be approved for the supplement. Completion must take place before the next examination.

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    Alan P. Trujillo and Harold V. Thurman
    Essentials of Oceanography
    Published by Pearson , 11th Edition
    Paperback:  ISBN: 9781292041001

    Current scientific publications and lecture notes will be made available to the students during the course.

  • Contact

    Agatha de BoerSenior lecturer, Paleo ocean modelling
    Agatha de Boer
    +46 (0)8 16 47 30 | Room: R238