EAS 506: The Climate System - Processes and Feedbacks

Course Title

The Climate System - Processes and Feedbacks

Course Code

EAS 506

Course Type




Instructor’s Name

Panos Hadjinicolaou



Lectures / week

1 (2.5h)

Laboratories / week


Course Purpose and Objectives

This course provides an overview of the physical processes within and between major Earth System components (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere) influencing global climate development. It particularly focuses on feedbacks and their underlying causes and mechanisms (e.g. composition, radiation, clouds, aerosols, water vapor, land-air exchange). Emphasis is also given to suitable numerical models and measurement techniques describing and monitoring such feedbacks and an assessment of their general capabilities/limitations.

Learning Outcomes

List and describe the observed mean state of the main components of the climate

Understand their key mechanisms involving heat, radiation, moisture and momentum exchange among the different parts of the climate system

Derive numerically the climate sensitivity and recognise several climate feedbacks

Describe the other elements of the climate system such as ocean, land, hydrosphere

Distinguish between natural and anthropogenic climate change and place them in historical and paleoclimatic context


EAS 503

Background Requirements


Course Content

Introduction to the global system

The elements of the Earth system and their basic characteristics

Feedback and interrelationships between Earth system components and their assessment

Towards an “Earth System Model”

Teaching Methodology

Textbook and Review Journal Paper reading. Case studies. .


Hartmann D.L., Global Physical Climatology, 2nd Edition, 2016, Elsevier, 498 pp. (supplementary textbook).


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