Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
NS002B (AF:361778 AR:191619)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Educational sector code
Summer course
Course year
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The course aims to provide a comprehension of the earth climate system, how does climate change differ from day-to-day weather, factors drive changes in Earth's climate and the interactions between the Earth’s system compartments in order to properly evaluate present and future climate changes.
Students will be able to analyze and to evaluate present and future climate changes by considering the natural and human contribution in the right perspective.
No specialized knowledge is required.
Introduction. The structure of the course. Climatic archives and proxies. Spatial and temporal variability.
Climate System Today (I). Heat balance. Greenhouse gases contribution. Simple model for interpreting GHG effect.
Climate System Today (II). Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Cryosphere, Lithosphere and Biosphere. Mass and heat transport between different climate compartments.
Dating Methods.
Ice core records. Dating ice cores. Proxies in ice cores. Artic, Antarctic ice cores and continental glaciers.
Marine sediments. Dating marine sediments. Proxies in marine sediments. Milankovic cycles.
Lake sediments. Dating lake sediments. Proxies in lake sediments.
Other archives: Corals, tree-rings
The Faint Young Sun Paradox. Early climate system. Evaluation of the hypotheses that explain the FYSP.
Tectonic-scale climate changes.
Monsoon and El-Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Intensity and periodicity reconstruction of Monsoon activity and ENSO during the Pleistocene-Holocene.
Climate during the last 800.000 years. Interglacial cycles, features and forcings. Why Holocene is different from the previous interglacial? Glacial periods and millennial oscillations.
Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) 21.000 year ago. Climate reconstruction during LGM. Big mammals extinction.
LClimate system during the last 2000 years. Historical records. From Medieval Warming Periodo to the Little Ice Age: effects on the evolution of human civilizations. The last century: something changed.
Climate changes and Human Evolution.
William F. Ruddiman. Earth’s Climate: Past and Future 1 and 2nd Ed. W.H. Freeman and Company, New York. 2008.
Frances Drake, Global Warming, Arnold, London, 2000
Scientific papers suggested by the professor during the lectures
The examination takes place through an oral test where the student must demonstrate both knowledge of the arguments put forward during the course and the way to formally exhibit them.
Lectures on general aspects of topics and deepening the subjects of interest to students

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: 31/05/2021