GEF9220 – Predictability of Weather and Climate

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The 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 finishing 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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:


A written obligatory assignment must be approved before you are allowed to take the final exam.

Final oral exam (appr. 45-50 min) which counts 100 %.

Language of examination

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.

Explanations and appeals

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)GEO4920 – Predictability of Weather and ClimateGEO9920 – Predictability of Weather and Climate

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.

This course was periodic evaluated in spring 2013 (pdf, in Norwegian).

Facts about this course






Spring 2018


Spring 2018

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)