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Climat: sciences et politiques

academic year

Course teacher(s)

Frank PATTYN (Coordinator) and Louise Knops

ECTS credits


Language(s) of instruction


Course content

This course is designed as an introduction for a large audience on the fundamentals, impacts and potential remediation mechanisms to Climate Changes. The part taught by Jean-Louis Tison essentially deals with the scientific bases underlying Climate Changes. A first chapter recalls the basic components of the Earth System and its Climate, with special focus on the role of the energy balance at the Earth surface . Chapter 2 deals with the natural variability of the Climate at various time scales and briefly introduces the set of archives that we can use to reconstruct it, with special focus on the specificity and wealth of the cryospheric archives. In Chapter 3, the Climate System is described, showing the tight interactions between the astronomical forcing and the Earth System feedbacks. Attention is drawn in chapter 4 on recent Climate changes (last centuries, a period that is now often referred to as the Anthropocene. Finally, a fifth chapter gives us a vision into the near future following the predictions of the IPCC (Intergovernemental Pannel on Climate Change), within the context of the present-day "hot topic" of the potential anthropic origin of Climate Changes

Objectives (and/or specific learning outcomes)

To give the necessary basic understanding for a clear perception of the present-day problematics of recent climate changes and the potential responsibility of Mankind therein

Teaching methods and learning activities

Powerpoint presentation, available for the students on the intranet


Method(s) of evaluation

  • written examination

written examination

Written exam