Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The global energy balance, transport of energy in the atmosphere and ocean, the greenhouse effect. Solar radiation, thermal infrared radiation, the role of gases and clouds. The energy balance of the surface, the hydrologic cycle. Atmospheric motions and ocean currents, the El Niño phenomenon.

Learning outcome

After completing this course you should have the following skills:

  • Understand the key factors and processes that determine the Earth's energy balance.
  • Be able to explain the greenhouse effect and perform calculations for the ground temperature under different assumptions about atmospheric composition and properties.
  • Understand the factors that determine the vertical stability of the atmosphere and ocean and how instabilities give rise to the type of weather and currents in the ocean.
  • Be able to describe the basic features of the circulation in the ocean and in the atmosphere from a physical understanding of flows in rotating fluids.
  • Know the causes of natural variations in climate and how emissions from human activity can affect this. Understand the physics behind and the timescale for the main feedback mechanisms in the climate system.


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.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Studies corresponding to 2 semesters at one of the bachelor programmes Physics, Astronomy and Meteorology (FAM) og Geosciences. It will require considerable additional effort to complete the course without necessary prerequisites in Mathematics and Programming.

The following courses must be taken earlier than the first mandatory field trip/excursion in GEF1100:

For students who completed GEF1100 between autumn 2013 and spring 2015 – you cannot have GEF1100 included in a degree before following HSE courses are passed:

For further information se website for transitional arrangements between old and new HSE courses.

Overlapping courses

The overlap between GEF1100 and GEO1030 is valid from the Autumn semester of 2014.

3 credits overlap with the previous GF 121, and 6 credits overlap with the previous GF 326.


Lectures, 3 hours per week. Excursion. Colloquia/exercises, 2 hours per week. 2 obligatory written exignments which must be approved before you can sit for 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:

To attend mandatory field trips/excursions it is required that the following courses must be taken earlier than the first compulsory field trips/excursions in GEF1100:

You will need to provide documentation that you have passed HMS0504 – Field Safety when you attend the first mandatory field trip/excursion.

General information about excursions at the Dept. of Geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


A written midterm exam which counts ca 1/3 in the final grade. A final written exam (3 hours) which counts ca 2/3 in the final grade.

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

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:

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.

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






The subject will be taught for the last time autumn 2017.


Autumn 2019

Autumn 2018

Examination is offered until autumn 2019, under assumption of passed lectures

Teaching language