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Global Climate System

The theory of Earth's changing climate now and in the past involves an understanding of radiative forcing and feedback mechanisms, and how they result in global temperature change.

Earth's changing climate is controlled by feedback mechanisms and changing boundary conditions such as insolation, atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations or aerosol particles. In the course you will learn how the planetary energy balance is a useful starting point to the problem. You will then explore radiative forcing and feedback mechanisms, and how the oceans are key for the transient climate response such as historical and future warming. You will further explore global natural variability and various non-linearities that may cause catastrophic events, so called tipping points.

  • Course structure

    The course will apply theory of global climate change acquired in seminars and lectures to popular problems in climate sciences. As a starting point, students will setup and run experiments with a state-of-the-art global climate model, changing atmospheric carbon dioxide or the insolation to probe the model's climate sensitivity. In the subsequent student-designed projects a hypothesis or a research question will be formulated, research planned and carried out.

    Teaching format

    The course will be based primarily on seminars and project work, combined with topical lectures. Students are expected to prepare before the seminars.

    Course material

    Grading criteria, course literature and other material and correspondence related to the course will be available on the course Athena-site at once you have registered for the course.


    The course is graded based on the written project report. In addition, students must participate actively in the seminars, carry out homework, write a small lab-report, and present their project results to their fellow students.


    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.

    You can search for schedules from previous years in TimeEdit, by entering the course code.

    Link to TimeEdit

  • Course literature

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

    Lecture notes will be distributed electronically at the start of the course.

  • Course reports

  • More information

    Upcoming courses

    The course is held every spring semester.

  • Contact

    Study counselor