Paleo-Climatology

Course content

Paleo-climatology is the study of earth’s climate history from the deep past to recent climate change. It spotlights changes on geological time scales as well as variations over glacial-interglacial cycles, and recent human induced changes. There is a particular focus on the climate archives in the large polar ice sheets and the geological record. The student will get acquainted with reading the paleo-climate archives, and judging their uncertainties.

The goal of the course is to provide an introduction to and general knowledge of what can be learned from paleo-climate archives about global and regional climate on timescales from a few thousand to millions of years. The course will bring the student up to date with new records of past climate and their interpretation. The course provides the background for a critical view on man made climate change.

Education

MSc Programme in Climate Change

MSc Programme in Physics

Learning outcome

Knowledge:

  • Describe the current state of knowledge on past climate change at ta variety of time scales.
  • Understand the main drivers of climate change in the past including the astronomically driven changes in solar radiation and the impacts of changes in the carbon cycle.
  • Provide an overview of the usefulness of different paleoclimate archives.
  • Understand the importance of comparing different paleo records.

Skills:

  • Make a simple description of a climate record.
  • Understand paleo climate terminology and be able to use the terminology to communicate with paleo-climate scientists.

Competences:

  • Make first order explanations of complex interactions of the earth system influencing the climate.
  • Synthesize climate information from various sources.
  • Understand the difference between global and regional climate change.
  • Have a perception of natural climate variations and the superimposed human influence on climate.

lectures,
student presentations,
discussion.

See Absalon for final course material. The following is an example of expected course litterature.

 

Required-reading: William F. Ruddiman: Earth’s Climate, past and future.  W.H. Freeman.

ECTS
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 24 hours
The candidates will be assigned a topic on which they have to write a report.
The individual report is to be 1000-2500 words during a 24 hour take home exam.
Relevant figures and references are not to be included in the report but are to be added in an appendix.
Aid
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
two internal examiners
Criteria for exam assessment

see learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 32
  • Seminar
  • 16
  • Preparation
  • 158
  • English
  • 206