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Specialisation Module: Physical Climatology
Identification number

180 h
Credit Points

1st - 3rd Semester
Offered Every



1 semester
1 Course types
a) Lecture
b) Exercise
Contact time
30 h
30 h
Private study
60 h
60 h
2 Module objectives and skills to be acquired

Understanding of global climate system, processes and interactions; Correct interpretation of climate observations and simulations; Overview of climate modeling and analysis.
3 Module content
  • Climate as a dynamic system
  • Atmospheric general circulation
  • Global energy, water and carbon cycles
  • Ocean dynamics and circulation
  • Atmosphere – ocean interactions
  • Atmosphere – land and ice interactions
  • Regional and global reanalysis with examples from the HErZ project
  • Large-scale interactive climate systems
  • Introduction to global climate models
  • Climate scenarios and projections
Recommended literature:
Trenberth KE 2010: Climate system modeling. ISBN-10: 0521128374
Peixoto JP and AH Oort 2007: Physics of Climate. ISBN-10: 0883187124
Grotjahn R 2004: Global Atmospheric Circulation: Observations and Theories. ISBN-10: 019517481X
Robinson W 2001: Modeling Dynamic Climate Systems. ISBN-10: 0387951342
Lau K-M and D Waliser 2012: Intraseasonal Variability in the Atmosphere-Ocean Climate System. ISBN-10: 3642139132.
Rayner, J.N., Dynamic Climatology: Basis in Mathematics and Physics, 2000.
4 Teaching methods

Lectures and exercises
5 Prerequisites (for the module)

Formal: None.
The content of the course requires the undergraduate knowledge of meteorology, mathematics and scientific programming.
6 Type of examination

At the beginning of the lecture-free period, there is a 120 to 180-minute written examination, the content of which is the material from the lecture and exercises. Successful completion of the exercises is required for admission to the examination; for this, the acquisition of 50% of the points to be achieved is sufficient. A repeat examination is offered before or at the beginning of the following semester.
The examination grade is the module grade. In the case of two passed examinations (see § 20 paragraph 10 examination regulations), the better grade is the module grade.
7 Credits awarded

The module is passed, and the credit points will be awarded, if the written examination is passed.
8 Compatibility with other curricula

Suitable as an elective course for physics students.
9 Proportion of final grade

Weight of the module grade in the overall grade: 6/150 (4 %)
10 Module coordinator

Yaping Shao, Frank Steffany
11 Further information

Version: 2023-03-23