GEO9920 – Predictability of Weather and Climate

Course content

This course focus on atmosphere as a dynamical system, and basic definitions of predictability of weather and climate. Data-assimilation in numerical weather prediction, probabilistic weather forecasting, and climate scenarios. Introduction to basic concepts from dynamic system therory such as: finite time growth of perturbations, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, deterministic chaos, predictions of the first and second kind, attractors, Lyapunov-vectors, and singular vectors. Verification of probabilistic forecasts.

Learning outcome

After taken this course, candidates

  • are familiar with selected methods for assimilation of observational data for the determination of initial states for numerical weather predictions,
  • are familiar with central concepts from the theory of dynamical systems applied to the atmosphere and the earth’s climate system,
  • have a profound understanding of the practical and theoretical basis for the prospects and limitations of the forecasting of weather and climate,
  • are able to demonstrate a mature perception of the challenges in accounting for, and communicating, uncertain information in scientifically based forecasting.


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.


Lectures and seminars – averaging to 4 hours per week will be given. A written obligatory assignment, which must be handed in around the middle of the semester, must be approved before you are allowed to take the final exam.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Study administration, email address:


  • A written obligatory assignment must be approved before you are allowed to take the final exam.
  • Final oral examination (appr. 45-50 min) counts for 100%.

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

In this course any written exam questions or assignment questions may be available in English only.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: GEF4220 – Predictability of Weather and Climate (continued)GEF9220 – Predictability of Weather and Climate (continued), and GEO4920 – Predictability of Weather and Climate


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


This course changed code from the autumn of 2018 from GEF9220 - Predictability of Weather and Climate to GEO9920 - Predictability of Weather and Climate.

Facts about this course






The course is not taught in the spring 2020.


Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)