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The Ocean’s Role in the Climate System on Geological Time Scales



Course format On-site
Datum 2020-09-28 - 2020-11-08
Entry level Bachelor
Cost 17500 SEK

This course introduces students to the role of the ocean in long term climate change.

It will cover different types of ocean-climate interactions going back from the Eocene 40 million years ago to today and into the future. Students will learn what the role is of climate, the geography of the continents and ice-sheets on the ocean circulation. The course will describe how the ocean in turn affects climate by transporting heat around the globe and taking up or releasing carbon dioxide. Learning will be facilitated through lectures, exercises, demonstrations, group discussions, literature reviews, and presentations.

Course content

• basic climate dynamics with a focus on climate variations above geological time
• the role of the ocean during climate transitions
• the importance of plate tectonics and the geography of the continents for the ocean circulation
• the importance of ocean circulation for the climate through its transport of heat and its impact on the carbon cycle
• the interaction between the ocean and the cryosphere


Admission to the course requires knowledge equivalent to a bachelor's degree, which includes at least 60 credits in geology or earth science. Swedish upper secondary school course English B/English 6 or equivalent Information about entry requirements on universityadmissions.se

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the student is expected to be able to:

  • explain basic climate dynamics such as the earth's radiation balance and the greenhouse effect
  • describe how the ocean transports heat on the earth and how it can change over time as well as what effect such changes can have on the climate
  • explain what can affect the large-scale circulation of the ocean, such as the geographical location of the continents and changes in the hydrological cycle
  • describe the role of the ocean circulation in the carbon cycle and apply the knowledge to understand climate change during the history of the earth
  • discuss how the ocean may or may not have been responsible for the different climate changes


ISCED Categories

Persoonlijke vaardigheden en communicatie
Fysische en chemische oceanografie
Mariene Geologie