05-MMG-CC1 Climate Change I: Fundamentals

Representative André Paul

Learning Contents:

This first of two modules on climate change gives an overview of the basic components of the climate system, introduces nonlinear processes and feedbacks and proceeds from conceptual to comprehensive numerical models of the atmosphere, ocean, ice sheets and the Earth system. This is complemented by the paleoclimatic history of the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions during the Cenozoic and Pleistocene, which includes the tectonic development and its impact on the ocean circulation and high-latitude biota, as well as the development of polar ice sheets and their effects on sea level and global thermal differentiation. Computer and sediment lab exercises provide an introduction to scientific programming and data analysis on the one hand and high-latitude sediments on the other hand.

Learning Outcomes, Targeted Competencies:

to obtain a basic understanding of the physics of the climate system
to get an overview of global climate development at tectonic to centennial time scales with an emphasis on the polar regions
to become able to assess the opportunities and limitations of numerical climate models and (paleo-) climate data
to acquire essential skills in scientific programming and data analysis

Prior Knowledge:

Basic knowledge in physical climatology, marine geology and programming

Course Type 1: Lecture, Exercise (L+E) 6.0 SWS ( 84.0 h)

Tutorial(s): -


84.0 h presence time
48.0 h self-study
48.0 h exam workload

180 h total workload

Exam Type:

module exam


exam elements: 1
SL: 0

100 % oral exam


Hartmann, Dennis L.: Global Physical Climatology. Elsevier, 2nd edition, 498 pp., 2016.
Open University: Ocean Circulation. Butterworth-Heinemann, 2nd revised edition, 286 pp., 2004.
Ruddiman, W.F.: Earth’s climate: past and future. W.H. Freeman, 3rd revised edition, 464 p., 2013.