After completion of the course the student should be able to
describe and characterise the relations and interactions between the atmo-, bio-, cryo-, hydro-, and lithospheres and explain how these interactions relate to global-scale changes in the Earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles on geological to annual time scales
illustrate interactions in the Earth System by using examples from Earth's past and recent history
appraise the current state of knowledge on the causes and dynamics of Earth system interactions and Global Changes, and identify current open questions in Earth System science
Assess the relevance of different Earth System interactions with respect to present-day Global Changes.
This course provides an overview of the principal dynamic processes within, and interactions between, the main components of the Earth system, namely the atmo-, bio-, cryo-, hydro-, and lithosphere. The course focuses on how these dynamic interactions result in global-scale changes on Earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles at different times scales, ranging from tectonic (millions of years) to human (years to centuries). Topics covered in the course include, but are not limited to, the role of internal Earth geodynamics in shaping the planet and creating an habitat for life's emergence, the role of life in transforming the Earth's surface environment, the role of the Oceans and the atmosphere as regulators in the Earth's climate, and the role of the cryosphere in modulating this climate though dynamic feedbacks.
Lectures, practicals and seminars.
The course is assessed based on practical exercises (3 credits), seminars (2 credits), a synthesis report (2 credits) and a final written exam ( 3 credits).