General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Climate Change
Language English
Module lecturer dr Bartosz Czernecki
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position
Faculty Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences
Semester 2021/2022 (summer)
Duration 20


Module aim (aims)

· The objective of the course is to give a scientific basis of climate change. This course aim to present the current state of global warming science with emphasis on wide range of environmental aspects.

· Besides scientific, an introduction to socio-politic and economic aspects will be presented. The most common myth theories about global warming will be discussed with focusing on the mechanism that may help to understand the rationale of physical processes.

· This course will put emphasis on a broad understanding of the science underpinning the claim that human activity has played a role in causing the current rise in global temperature. You will also develop an awareness of the present and future impact on global communities, the political response to such impacts, and consider basic economic concepts and models that describe a framework in which changes to our use of resources can occur.

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

No additional scientific background is necessary. This subject is designed to be accessible to students from any discipline.


Week 1: Differences between climate and weather. How does climate system work? Introductory concepts of climate dynamics. Earth’s atmosphere. 0- and 1 dimensional energy balance models.

Week 2: What cause climate change? What are the natural and anthropogenic forcing mechanisms? What can we learn from the past and what are the proxy data that might be useful in reconstructing of past Earth’s climate.

Week 3: Environmental and socio-economical consequences of global warming. Mythbusting of some of the global warming theories.

Week 4: Climate change scenarios by the end of 21st century. Climate scenarios emission paths (RCPs). GCM and RCM modelling concepts. Downscaling strategies

Week 5: Consequences, risks and uncertainties of climate change. Influence of lobbying sector on decision-makers.

Reading list

A collection of readings pertinent to each topic will be made available online on a course webpage. Some topics will be discussed based on the below listed literature:

IPCC, 2014: Climate Change 2014: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core Writing Team, R.K. Pachauri and L.A. Meyer (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 151 pp.

Cowie, J. 2012: Climate change: biological and human aspects. Cambridge University Press.