Dynamics of Earth Systems: Global Change

10 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1GV014

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Earth Science A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 1 February 2022
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

120 credits with (1) 90 credits in earth science, or (2) 90 credits in technology or physics and 30 credits in earth science or Environmental Science. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student shall 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.


Practical exercises (4 credits). Project report (3 credits). Written exam (3 credits).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.