EHS4030 – Environmental Sciences: Understanding Climate Change

Course content

This course introduces the basics of climate change science and the different spheres of the climate system. An overview of key concepts such as climate, weather and the greenhouse gas effect will be given, and the students will learn about the human contribution to climate change including important greenhouse gases and their main sources. Material from the Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will be used to learn about some of the main observed changes in the climate system and projected future trends in various climate variables. This will also include a discussion about the development and use of climate and socio-economic scenarios. Further insights will be provided particularly on changes in weather and climate extremes and their implications for society. The course will conclude with discussing the importance of interdisciplinary climate science for supporting adaptation and mitigation policy and decision making.

Learning outcome

Students will be able to:

  • Explain the basic concepts of climate change science.
  • Identify the anthropogenic drivers of climate change.
  • Explain observed and projected trends in the climate system.
  • Understand different climate change scenarios and their implications.
  • Read and discuss scientific literature about climate change.


This course is part of the Environmental Humanities and Sciences (master's supplement). Students not enrolled in the certificate programme can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme. 

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


The course will be held as a block course (5 days). Each course day will consist of lectures, student presentation (1 per student), group work and discussions. Each lecture topic is accompanied by compulsory preparatory reading and preparation of short student presentations.

Compulsory activities:

  • At least 80 percent attendance with active participation in class, preparatory readings, and discussions.


Multiple choice questions on the topics discussed in the lectures.

Language of examination

The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2021


Autumn 2021

Teaching language