Postgraduate course

Physical Climatology

Semester of Instruction


Objectives and Content

The course on physical climatology provides an understanding of present day climate, as well as climate variations in the past, present, and future. It focuses on the physical principles governing the global energy budget, the role of the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans, and interactions between the different components of the climate system. The course will investigate the physical mechanisms important for climate related to changes in land surface properties (ice, snow, vegetation, etc.), atmospheric composition (gas and particles), clouds or orbital parameters. In addition, different methods for investigating natural climate variability and possible effects of anthropogenic climate change will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes

After completing GEOF212 the student will be able to:

- define and explain central concepts in physical climatology
- explain the global energy budget
- explain the fundamental physical mechanisms behind large scale climate variability
- perform calculations of the earth´s sensitivity to external forcings such as from the Sun, volcanoes and changes in greenhouse gasses
- explain the main feedback mechanisms in the climate system
- explain the nature of internal climate variability
- explain key elements of global climate models and sources of uncertainty

Required Previous Knowledge

Principles of meteorology and/or oceanogarphy (GEOF105 and GEOF110) in addition to basic knowledge in maths and physics (mechanics).

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Good knowledge in dynamics, meteorology and oceanography, in addition to basic knowledge in maths and physics.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance at 70 percent of the exercises are compulsory. Exemption may be accepted based on application to the programme Board.

Forms of Assessment

Presentation of project assignment counts 20% of the final grade and is valid the semester it is beeing made and the following semester. Finalexam, written, 4 hours; counts 80% of the final grade and must be passed. Grades in letters (A-F).
Examination support materials: Non-programmable calculator, according to model listed in faculty regulations.If less than 10 candidates, the exam might be oral.

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Subject Overlap

AGF-213 5 ECTS, AGF-214 5 ECTS (at UNIS), both courses together will cover the contents of GEOF212. MNF344: ECTS


Contact Information


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Written examination and presentation of project assignment

    Withdrawal deadline
    • Exam part: Oral presentation of project assignement

    • Exam part: Written examination

      4 hours