Advanced Climate Dynamics

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course aims to provide a theoretical understanding for climate variability and change

Our climate is determined by radiation from sun and the interaction among various components of the climate system. Climate Dynamics is the study of these processes, and it provides the theoretical basis for understanding variations and changes in climate. This course will cover the interaction among ocean, sea ice, land, and the atmosphere, as well as the hydrological cycle, including clouds, and key feedback mechanisms. The leading theories for climate variability, including those for the El NiƱo Southern Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, and Atlantic Multidecadal Variability will be presented. They will learn about climate extremes, climate prediction, and future climate change, and how climate dynamics is critical to improving understanding and reducing uncertainties in these fields. The student will have hands on experience in performing diagnostic and mechanistic analysis, and in using climate models.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student
- has knowledge of how ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and land interact on time scales from a month to a century
- has understood the leading theories for climate variability
- has a climate dynamics perspective on climate extremes, climate prediction, and climate change
- has basic knowledge of key components of climate models


The student
- is able to use theory to explain key patterns of climate variability and change
- is able to diagnose the influence of ocean, sea ice, and land surface conditions on the atmosphere
- is able to perform experiments with a simplified climate model

General competence

The student
- can discuss the major uncertainties in climate prediction and change
- can analyse large gridded data
- can perform numerical model experiments

ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring. Runs only if enough students enrol.
Enrolment to this course is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 2 for the spring semester.
Please, see this page for more information:

Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Bachelor's degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics or Bachelor's degree in Meteorology or Oceanography or equivalent programs.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Fundamental data analysis of climate dataset (GEOF212), advanced dynamics (GEOF352, GEOF339).
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a master's programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Teaching and learning methods
2 lectures of 2 hours per week
2 hours of exercises per week involving scientific programming, including a term project
Lectures and exercises will include regular group presentations and discussion.
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
This course has one mandatory term project.
The compulsory project are valid for one subsequent semesters.
Forms of Assessment
The forms of assessment are:
- Term project will form 30% of total grade
- Oral examination (30 minutes), 70% of total grade
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester
Reading List
The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Geophysical Institute