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Undergraduate course

Causes and consequences of Climate Change

Teaching semester

Autumn

Objectives and Content

Objectives:

The course aims at giving an introduction to the science of climate change. It provides the basis for understanding the underlying physical processes and feedbacks governing climate variations on different timescales in the past, present and future. In addition, the course will introduce some of the consequences of climate change; geohazards, sea level, societal impact. The course will give the student perspective to discuss the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the ongoing changes in climate.

Content:

The course focuses on explaining the main external forcing mechanisms such as the sun, volcanoes, and changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols, which can contribute to changing the global energy budget and initiate climate changes. Through this course, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of the climate system, and be able to compare the observed, man-made changes in climate over the last century to past natural changes.

The course includes an introduction to the consequences of climate changes for the occurrence of climate hazards such as floods, avalanches, extreme weather and storm surges, and economic implications.

The course answers to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (in particular SDG13) by strengthening our knowledge of climate and climate-related hazards and will make the student conscious of the consequences of political and strategic choices made at a local, national and global level.

In addition to class room lectures, group work and colloquia, the course consists of video lectures as well as independent reading and exercises provided on an interactive online platform. The course is followed by term projects and presentation of project results.

Learning Outcomes

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

Knowledge

The student can

  • explain the fundamental physical mechanisms behind large scale climate variability
  • understand the basic external forcing mechanisms that initiate climate variations
  • explain and quantify the main feedback mechanisms in the climate system
  • explain how climate has varied in the past and how these changes are recorded
  • understand the role of ocean heat uptake
  • explain the impact of climate change on the occurrence of floods, avalanches, extreme weather and storm surges
  • understand the consequences of climate change for society

Skills

The student can

  • perform calculations of the earth´s sensitivity to external forcings such as the Sun, volcanoes and changes in greenhouse gases
  • assess the consequences of climate changes and evaluate their impact on society
  • demonstrate their scientific communication skills and ability to present scientific information to fellow students and others

General competence

The student can

  • demonstrate the ability for critical thinking and physically based reasoning
  • show cross-disciplinary awareness through discussions on the interaction between humans and nature in the Earth system
  • summarize the link between environmental, socio-economic, demographic and social relationships through investigation into the effect of future man-made greenhouse gas emissions

Required Previous Knowledge

None

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Basic knowledge in mathematics, physics or geoscience is an advantage

It is an advantage to have studied at least one year at University level.

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

GEOF212: 5ECTS, MNF344: 5ECTS

Access to the Course

Open to all students at the University of Bergen.

Teaching and learning methods

GEOF212: 5ECTS, MNF344: 5ECTSThe teaching will include online lectures (Massive Open Online course; MOOC), classroom lectures and group exercises.

- MOOC course: 20 hours

- Lectures: 2 hours a week for 12 weeks

- Colloquia: 2 hours a week for 12 weeks

Make a poster or a movie of a chosen topic, and present it in class, as well as produce a written report / assignment of a chosen topic relating to the course.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Mandatory presentation of poster or movie (A-F). Mandatory handing in and presentation of report / assignment (A-F).

The compulsory assignments are valid for the teaching semester.

Forms of Assessment

The assessment form is evaluated based on:

  • poster or movie (30%)
  • written and presented report/assignment (70%)
  • completion of at least 80 % of the course steps and all the test questions in the MOOC course ¿Causes of Climate Change¿

Examination Support Material

None

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F.

Assessment Semester

Assessment only in semester with teaching

Reading List

Will be made available by 1st of June for the fall semester and 1st of December for the 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 Program Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study program and courses.

Course Coordinator

The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Course Administrator

Faculty of Mathematics and natural Sciences ¿ Department of Earth Science

Contact

Contact Information

The course coordinator and administrative contact person can be found on Mitt UiB, or you may contact studierettleiar@geo.uib.no

Exam information