The course gives an introduction to fundamental physical and bio-geo-chemical mechanisms defining the climate and climate variations on Earth. The following topics are covered:
- Blackbody radiation, the planetary energy balance, and the greenhouse effect.
- Recent global warming and future climate scenarios.
- The concepts of radiative forcing, feedbacks, and climate sensitivity.
- The major atmospheric and oceanic circulation patterns.
- The role of the cryosphere in the climate system and changes in sea level.
- Plate tectonics and its impact on Earth’s climate.
- The major components and mechanisms of the organic and inorganic carbon cycles.
- Quaternary climate variability on orbital, millennial, and annual time scales.
- Past, present, and future abrupt climate change and tipping elements of the climate system.
Course start date
Course end date
University of Copenhagen
Centre for Ice and Climate
Field of study
Science Faculty, University of Copenhagen