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The Earth's Climate and Climate Change, Introductory Course

Knowledge about the Earth’s climate and climate change is decisive for our future. In this course, you will gain insight in how different aspects of the climate system contribute to a comprehensive whole. We want to provide you with the understanding that is necessary today when participating in the important debate about the future of our climate.

Course description

We cover the processes that are of central relevance for the climate: in the atmosphere, in the oceans, radiative balance, the greenhouse effect, and other factors that are important for understanding climate and its development. How has climate changed in a historical perspective? We describe Earth’s climate zones and how these result from the atmosphere’s and the oceans’ circulation. Then we introduce weather forecast models and climate models. How do they work, and how do we interpret scenarios of future climate.

There will of course be a comprehensive discussion of anthropogenic influences on climate, through increasing greenhouse effect, aerosol particles, and other processes. We will also illuminate the problem of separating anthropogenic effects from natural variability. Last but not least we discuss societal consequences of climate change and provide insight in the work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

  • Course structure

    The course is a mixture of lectures, group exercises and a home task. The course is given in Swedish and complete information about the course is provided in the Swedish course description.

    Teaching format

    The lectures are given by different scientists who all contribute with their expertise from different directions of climate research. Active discussions about various climate questions use to be an important part of the lectures. This is complemented by group exercises aiming at the interpretation of weather and climate data. This also includes a home task with individual observations and analyses.


    The home task provides an opportunity to combine the content of the lectures with own thoughts. At the end of the course, a written exam is intended to cover the various aspects that contribute to climate as a whole.


    Here is a link to a list of course coordinators and examiners.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
    The full course schedule for 2022 can be found on the Swedish course page. You can search for schedules from previous years in TimeEdit, by entering the course code.

    Link to TimeEdit

  • More information

    The course starts during spring semester.

  • Contact

    Study counselor