Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CM0445 (AF:354737 AR:185378)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Course year
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The teaching course is a 'related' teaching of the CdS in Environmental Science included in the curriculum named Global Environmental Change and allows the student to get the knowledge of the climatic conditions of the past at different spatial and temporal scales. The teaching course aims to provide the tools for evaluating the interactions between the different environmental spheres and the evolution of the climate system form the origin of Earth. The knowledge provided allow the student to elaborate and couple the main factors that can affect the past climate system, allowing the student to individuate, assess and face with a major awareness the climate changes issues at global scale.

Knowledge and comprehension
1. knowledge of the interaction mechanism in terms of mass transport and energy balance between the different environmental spheres (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere and litosphere)
2. knowledge of the main methods for the climate reconstructions with a particular focus on the use of proxies and dating methods
3. knowledge and comprehension of the reconstruction from climatic records based on the scientific method
Ability to apply knowledge and comprehension
1. Know how to relate the evolution of the climate system as a function of the internal and external forcing, finding the factors that operate to modify the climatic and environmental system
2. Know to individualize, based on the scientific method, the pros and cons of the different strategies used for reconstructing the climate of the past.
3. Explain properly and critically the main hypothesis formulate in paleoclimatology
It is fundamental to have obtained the training objective pointed out in General and Inorganic Chemistry, Maths, Physics and Geochemistry.
L1. Introduction to the teaching course. Climate System Today. Energy Balance
L2. Climate system today. Earth's sphere. Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Cryosphere, Litosphere, Biosphere
L3 Climatic Archives : an overview (ice cores, lacustrine and marine sediments, corals, tree-rings, Eurasian loess, speleothems)
L4 Dating methods (Ar/Ar, 14C, U-series, dendrochronology, AAR) and their application to climatic archives
L5. Proxy in palaeoclimatology (d18O, d2H, d13C, trace elements, pollen, charcoal, dust, tephra)
L6. The early climate: The Faint young sun paradox
L.7 Tectonic scale climate changes. BLAG hypothesis, polar position hypothesis, CO2 changes at tectonic scale.
L8. The Milankovitch theory
L.9 The climate of the Pleistocene. The occurrence of interglacials.
L10. The monsoon cycles and solar radiation
L11. Millenial scale climate changes, From Last Glacial Maximum to the Holocene, The CLIMAP project. The younger dryas.
L12. The climate of the Holocene.
L13. The climate of the last 2 millennia
L14. The Anthropocene
L15. Climate change and human evolution.
William F. Ruddiman. Earth’s Climate: Past and Future 2nd Ed. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York. 2008.
Raymond S. Bradley. Paleoclimatology. Reconstructing the Climates of the Quaternary.
scientific papers provided by the professor
The written exam consist in a test that contains 20 questions (multiple choice) and 5 open questions.
Every multiple choice question accounts for 1 point (correct answer), 0 point (no answer) or -0.5 point (wrong answer), for a total maximum of 20 points.
The 5 open questions accounts for 2 points for a total maximum of 10 points.
The exam is considered passed with 18/30 points
The students who will pass the exam with a valuation of 30/30 can ask for an additional oral exam for the assignment of the "laude"
The teaching course is presented by lectures.
Attending the lectures is not mandatory and does not affect the final evaluation. Nevertheless, the attendance is warmly suggested.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Climate change and energy" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 11/03/2021