Home > Studying Physics > Geophysics Second Cycle > Climate Models

Study programme: Geophysics
Study cycle: Master (second)
Module: Meteorology
Core of the programme: One of the recommended optional courses in Meteorology module
Year: 2
Semester: 3

Lectures: 45 hours
Exercises: 15 hours
Seminar: 0 hours

No. of ECTS credits: 4

Language: Slovenian

Climate Models

Objectives of the course and intended learning outcomes (competences)

Understanding the causes and consequences of climate change through the use of physically based models.

Contents (Syllabus outline)

Climate change scenarios: Basic assumptions and need for interdisciplinary approach. Projections of future climate in different time scales (100 to 1000 years). Ways of stabilization of GHG concentrations. Concepts of uncertainties in preparation of climate change scenarios.
Impacts of climate change: Models of climate change impacts on natural and socio-economic systems. Interactions of climate change with other global changes.
International approaches to cope climate change: conventions (UNFCCC), agreements, protocols (Kyoto), etc.
Climate modelling: Principles and problems of climate modelling. Simple (0- in 1-dimensional) climate models. Climate of other planets. Radiation-convection models. 3-dimensional climate models. General atmospheric circulation models. General oceanic circulation models. Cryosphere models. Models of biophysical processes on the land (water-balance models, parameterisation of vegetation). Coupled global climate models (atmospheric-ocean, atmospheric-ocean-land, etc.). Paleoclimate models. Models of atmospheric chemistry. Carbon cycle models.
Global and regional climate models: Use of coupled models to simulate the global climate. Statistical and dynamical downscaling of global model results to a better spatial resolution. The use of different tools for practical use of global and regional climate model results (MAGIC, SCENGEN, etc.).

Basic literature

Expected achievements

Knowledge and understanding
Deeper understanding of physical factors that influence the Earth climate, causes of climate change and their descriptions in the models.

The use of basic physical laws and simple climate models to understand climate change processes.

Interactions between atmosphere, oceans, land, cryosphere and biosphere and their description by physical laws.

Transferable skills
Basic physical and numerical principles and their application.

Teaching methods

Lectures, Exercises, Seminars and Consultations.


B.Sc. degree.

Assesment methods

The assessment consists of two parts, a theoretical exam and a practical exercises exam. The practical exercises exam (50 % of final grade) can be completed with 2 half-term. The theoretical exam is 50 % of final grade. The candidate successfully completes the assessment by obtaining a grade 6 (pass) to 10 (excellent) in both parts.

Methods of quality assessment

Self-evaluation, Student questionnaire.

Course coodinator and his references