Student Pages
Undergraduate course

Introduction to the atmosphere, ocean and climate

Level of Study


Teaching semester

Enrolment to this course is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 33 for the autumn semester.
Please see this page for more information: https://www.uib.no/en/matnat/53431/admission-courses-limited-capacity

Place of Instruction

Geophysical Institute.

Objectives and Content


The course gives an introduction to the fundamentals in meteorology, physical oceanography and climatology with emphasis on a qualitative explanation of the physical processes.


The course covers the physical and chemical characteristics of the atmosphere and the ocean, and how the atmosphere and ocean interact. The forces that drive the circulation of the ocean and atmosphere will be presented and an overview of global weather patterns and the large scale ocean circulation will be given. The students will be introduced to the most important energy forms in the atmosphere-ocean system and how energy is transported in and between the atmosphere and in the oceans. Important physical processes as for example cloud formation and precipitation, tidal motion and wave phenomena will be discussed. The variation and change in climate at different time scales will be presented. Selected laboratory experiments will be conducted to illustrate the motion of fluids on a rotating earth. In exercises, emphasis will be on a practical introduction to geophysical data analysis using a modern programming language. No prior knowledge in programming is necessary.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • understands basic terminology and expressions
  • has basic knowledge of the chemical and physical composition of the atmosphere and the ocean
  • has basic knowledge of energy sources and transport of energy in and between the atmosphere and the ocean
  • has knowledge of the hydrological cycle and phase changes of the water in the ocean and the atmosphere
  • is familiar with tides in the ocean and wave phenomena on various temporal and spatial scales
  • understands the fundamentals of the circulation in the atmosphere and ocean.
  • is familiar with the dominant weather systems and ocean currents on Earth
  • has an overview of large-scale climate variability at different time scales
  • is familiar with different types of air pollution


The student

  • can use basic terminology and expressions
  • can locate, evaluate and present scientific information
  • can convey the fundamentals in meteorology and physical oceanography
  • can present scientific information in writing to highlight a certain topic
  • can make numerical programs for simple geophysical calculations and visualization of geophysical data

General competence

The student

  • has gained insight into the subject and its relevance to society
  • has the capacity for reflection and critical thinking about academic questions
  • is able to plan and carry out scientific information gathering

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Fysikk 1+2 or PHYS101

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap


Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching is given as lectures (4 hours per week) and exersices (2 hours per week). The training will include the use of library resources, an introduction to digital tools used in weater prediction and practical data analysis using a modern programming language.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Semester project thesis . (Valid for four semesters: The semester mandatory activities have been approved and the three following semesters.)

Forms of Assessment

Final exam is written, 5 hours. Project thesis must be accepted to be able to sit the exam.

Examination Support Material

Non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations.

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.

Reading List

Will be made available by 1st of June for the fall semester and 1st of January for spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.

Course Administrator

Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences - Geophysical Institute


Contact Information

Student Consultant can be contacted on studierettleiar@gfi.uib.no

Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam. Autumn 2020 written exams will be arranged either at home or on campus. Please see course information on MittUiB.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    07.12.2020, 09:00
    5 hours
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam