Greenhouse gases and climate effects in the Arctic

The course covers formation, emissions and transport of greenhouse gases in the Arctic focusing on the cryosphere (ice, snow and permafrost), the climate forcing from greenhouse gases and the effects on the Arctic ecosystems caused by the climate change. The course is a part of a specialization in Arctic affairs, offered by Aarhus University and can be taken as a single course or in a “packet” with the course: “Arctic marine ecosystems in a Changing Climate” (10 ECTS), “Sustainable use of living resources in the Arctic” (5 ECTS) and “Sea ice ecology” (5 ECTS).

Climate forcing from greenhouse gases is leading to increasing temperature in the atmosphere and at the earth’s surface. In the Arctic this warming lead to thawing of permafrost, melting snow and reduction of the ice masses. Due to this melting and thawing the uptake and release of greenhouse gases from the Arctic ecosystems changes, likewise the loss of ice and snow, enforcing the increase of temperature even more - (feedback mechanisms). The warming affects the natural environments in the Arctic, further affecting the living conditions for the society.

The objective of the course is for the students to obtain knowledge and understanding of the greenhouse gasses sources, their physical, chemical and biological interaction and the climate forcing and effects in the Arctic. The students will obtain understanding of the sensitivity of the cryosphere (snow, ice and permafrost) to the climate change and the effects on the living conditions in the Arctic. Furthermore they will gain perception of the most important effects on the ecosystems and climate activated feedback processes and an understanding of how the natural environment changes and how this affect the society.

Prerequisites: Bachelor in biology, agroecology, chemistry or geoscience. (Other similar and relevant background would also be acceptable.)

Course details

Academic level(s)Master
Language of instruction
InstitutionAarhus University
Begin date14.04.2020
End date08.05.2020
Registration deadline01.11.2019
ECTS credits10.0
Field schoolNo
Fields of studyBiology and biochemistryLife science (broad programmes)ChemistryEarth science
Teaching placeGreenland Institute of Natural Resources, Nuuk, Greenland
Tagsclimateclimate changeecosystemcryosphere
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