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766678S Introduction to Atmospheric Processes and Climate Change, 5 ECTS cr 
Code 766678S  Validity 01.08.2017 -
Name Introduction to Atmospheric Processes and Climate Change  Abbreviation Introduction to 
Scope5 ECTS cr   
TypeAdvanced Studies Discipline3251 Physics 
  Grading1 - 5, pass, fail 
Unit Field of Physics 

ECTS Credits 

5 ECTS credits

Language of instruction 



Advanced studies or 3rd year; not given annually.

Learning outcomes 

After the course students know the basic structure of the Earth's atmosphere and climate system, and can describe the basic processes affecting radiative transfer in the atmosphere and Earth's energy balance, especially those related to greenhouse gasses, aerosol particles, and clouds.


The course serves as an introduction to atmospheric and climate science, and highlights climate relevant processes related to molecular clusters and aerosol particles. Review of blackbody radiation, kinetic theory of gasses and atmospherically relevant phase transitions; absorption and scattering of electromagnetic radiation by gas molecules, aerosol particles and cloud droplets; energy balance of the Earth system, radiative forcing, feedback and climate sensitivity; sources and sinks of aerosol particles and greenhouse gasses, aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions; structure and thermodynamics of the atmosphere, energy redistribution within the Earth system; observed and predicted climate changes.

Mode of delivery 

Face-to-face or multiform teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods 

Lectures, theoretical exercises, essays, student presentations, group discussions, self-study.

Target group 

Primarily for the students of the degree programme in physics. Also for the other students of the University of Oulu.

Prerequisites and co-requisites 

Thermophysics and Atomic Physics I

Recommended optional programme components 

Further effects of Sun on the Earth system are discussed in 766662S Solar effects on climate. For a general theory explaining the interaction between greenhouse gas molecules and infrared radiation, see 766662S Molecular properties.

Recommended or required reading 

Lecture notes, also D. J. Jacob: Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry, PUP, 1999; sekä R. T. Pierrehumbert: Principles of Planetary Climate, CUP, 2010.

Assessment methods and criteria 

Written examination. Read more about assessment criteria at the University of Oulu webpage.


Numerical grading scale 0 - 5, where 0 = fail

Person responsible 

Jack Lin

Working life cooperation 

No work placement period


Current and future instruction
No instruction in WebOodi

Future examinations
No examinations in WebOodi