Climate Change and Water Resources

Course content

Contents of the course:

1. Basic statistical concepts. Statistical analysis of historical climatic and hydrologic variables on seasonal and annual basis. Homogeneity test, trend test, analysis of extreme events including floods and draughts.

2. Hydrological processes at catchment scale. Introduction to rainfall-runoff processes and hydrological modeling. Simulation of the hydrological cycle at catchment scale using a simple conceptual hydrological model. Model calibration and validation principles. Trial-and-error and autocalibration techniques.

3. Climate modeling principles for global and regional scales and links to hydrology. IPCC scenarios and projections of climate change. Retrieval of climate projection scenarios of daily values of precipitation and other meteorological variables. Introduction to downscaling and bias correction methods of climate model results. Bias correction of climate projection scenarios using different bias correction methods.

4. Projection of future hydrological conditions as affected by climate change. Analysis of water balance, seasonal and annual statistics, and extreme events.

5. Analysis of uncertainty factors related to climate modeling, bias correction method, and hydrological modeling.



MSc Programme in Climate Change
MSc Programme in Environmental Science
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to give an introduction to the topic of climate change and water resources, including understanding, modeling and projection of hydrological processes at catchment scale. After completing the course the student should be able to:


Understand and describe how climate change impacts the hydrological cycle

Understand and assess approaches to projection of future climatic and hydrologic conditions

Understand and assess uncertainties


Use of statistical methods for analysis of climatic and hydrologic variables on seasonal and annual basis, trend test and extreme events

Use of climate projections from ensemble of global/regional climate models

Use of a hydrological model for studying the impacts of climate change on water resources and hydrological processes

Analyze uncertainties


Digital competences through use of comprehensive database of historical timeseries of climate and hydrological observational data as well as timeseries of future climate projections 

Quantitatively assess impacts of climate change on hydrological processes and water resources using statistical and hydrological modelling tools

Climate change adaptation and mitigation



The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon course page.

BSc in Natural Resources, Food Science, Landscape Architecture, Biology-Biotechnology, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography and Geoinformatics and Geology-Geoscience from University of Copenhagen or equivalent is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, during course
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Type of assessment details
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
Without aids
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Several internal examiners.

Re-submission of written assignment, 20 minutes oral examination. The written assignment must be handed in prior to the re-examination week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.

Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 170
  • Exercises
  • 36
  • English
  • 206


Course number
7,5 ECTS
Programme level
Full Degree Master

1 block

Block 2
The number of seats may be reduced in the late registration period
Study Board of Geosciences and Management
Contracting department
  • Department of Geoscience and Natural Resource Management
Contracting faculty
  • Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator
  • Majken Caroline Looms Zibar   (3-716770446d6b72326f7932686f)

Senior Advisor, Torben Sonnenborg, GEUS

Saved on the 28-02-2023

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