Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse – Københavns Universitet

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Kursussøgning, efter- og videreuddannelse

Climate Models, Observations of the Past and the Present, and Projected Climate Change including Sea Level Rise

Practical information
Study year 2016/2017
Block 4
Programme level Full Degree Master
Course responsible
  • Jens Hesselbjerg Christensen (11-726f7d7d6f766c746f7c714a786c7338757f386e75)
  • The Niels Bohr Institute
Course number: NFYK13022U

Course content

The course will comprise the following elements:

  • What is a climate model?
  • Observations of climate variations in the recent and deeper past
  • Observations of present day climate change (Satellite data as well as ground/ocean based observations).
  • Sea level rise (gauge + laser altimetry), measurements /estimates of mass balance of ice sheets.
  • Observed and “hind casted” climate of the 20th century. Attribution of climate change.
  • Climate projections for coming centuries.
  • Future sea level change and its impacts on coasts

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is (1) to introduce to the structure and functionality of climate models, (2) to provide an overview of observations of past (proxy) and recent instrumental climate variations, and (3) to give an overview of future climate changes as projected with state of the art climate models, and related changes in sea-level and their impacts. After completing the course the student should be able to


  • Know how a typical climate simulation is performed, which methodologies are used to observe climate in the past and at present


  • Understand the design, functionality, and purpose of climate models
  • Be able to describe, in general terms, the observed changes in the climate in the past and at present and be able to attribute these variations to different climate drivers.
  • Know how ocean and ocean heat content and sea level have risen over the recent past and what methods have been applied to obtain these measures
  • Be able to describe the general future climate changes (including sea level rise) as simulated with state of the art climate models


  • Identify the potentials and limitations of climate models
  • Be able to apply the relevant scientific terminologies correctly
  • Present the results of an analysis or exercise in a well-structured, logical, coherent and scientifically correct form

  • Provide qualified contributions to discussions on climate change mechanisms.

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MSc Programme in Climate Change
MSc Programme in Physics




Study Board of Geosciences and Management

Course type

Single subject courses (day)


Jens Hesselberg Christensen, DMI, jhc@dmi.dk,
Martin Drews, DTU, mard@dtu.dk


1 block


---- SKEMA LINK ----

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures and theoretical exercises


No limitations




Will be annouced in Absalon


Category Hours
Lectures 35
Theory exercises 42
Exam 1
Preparation 128
English 206


Type of assessment

Oral examination, 25 minutes
25 minutes oral examination in unknown question with 25 minutes preparation time.


All aids allowed

Marking scale

7-point grading scale

Criteria for exam assessment

The grade 12 is given for the excellent performance fulfilling the learning outcome of the course with few or no important misses.

Censorship form

No external censorship
Several internal examinators.


25 minutes oral examination in unknown question with 25 minutes preparation time.

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