Master’s studies

Syllabus for Climate Variations



  • 5 credits
  • Course code: 1ME404
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: Physics A1N, Earth Science A1N
  • Grading system: Fail (U), 3, 4, 5
  • Established: 2007-03-15
  • Established by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Revised: 2013-04-26
  • Revised by: The Faculty Board of Science and Technology
  • Applies from: week 35, 2014
  • Entry requirements: 120 credits with 90 credits in physics, earth science or biology.
  • Responsible department: Department of Earth Sciences

Learning outcomes

After the course the student should be able to

  • describe how the climate can vary on a time scale from 10 year up to hundreds of million years (paleoclimatology)
  • use basic knowledge in meteorology to understand climate
  • describe the methods used in paleoclimatology, climate indicators, dating methods and climate factors
  • describe the difference between a climate fluctuation and climate change
  • describe methods used to investigate / predict future climate


Climatic variations: ice cores, sediment samples, tree ring analysis, pollen analysis, propagation of plants and animals, oxygen isotope analysis, carbon-14 method, sea ice extent, glaciers, water level in the sewage from some lakes. Climatic factors: the Earth's orbital elements, continental drift, ocean currents, volcanic activity, mountain fold, greenhouse gases, solar activity, clouds, global dimming (dust). Climate modelling, the IPCC, negative and positive feedback mechanisms.


Lectures and seminaries


Written examination

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 35, 2014

  • O'Hare, Greg; Sweeney, John; Wilby, Robert L. Weather, climate, and climate change : human perspectives

    New York: Pearson Education, 2005

    Find in the library

  • Alverson, Keith D.; Bradley, Raymond S.; Pedersen, Thomas F. Paleoclimate, global change and the future

    Berlin: Springer, cop. 2003

    Find in the library