CAMBIAMENTO CLIMATICO E PALEOCLIMA

Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academyc year when starting the degree: 
2019/2020
Year: 
1
Academyc year when helding the course: 
2019/2020
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Credits: 
6
Period: 
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
60
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (36 hours), Exercise (24 hours)
Requirements: 

Knowledge on basic principles of physical geography and geomorphology (with focus on cryosphere)

Final Examination: 
Orale

The final assesment will be an oral test related to the individual activity and the program of the course.

Assessment: 
Voto Finale

The aims of the course are the learning of the main climate types and of the main technicques of climate analyses, paleoclimate reconstruction and study of impacts of the climate change on cryosphere, hydrosphere and geosphere

The course is divided in 4 main scientific units:
The climate: definitions, climatic variables; climate monitoring methods. Main regional climatic phenomena (NAO, AAO, AO, ENSO).
The Paleoclimate: definition and description of the main proxy data used to recostruct the climate change in the past. Methods of analyses of different proxy data. Pollens, macrorests; fossils; varve; speleothems; lacustrine deposits and ice core geochemistry; stable isotopes etc. Dating of deposits and surfaces: Cosmogenics, 14C, U-Th.
The Climate Change (CC): definitions and examples of data mining and analyses to detect climate changes.
CC Causes: Non anthropogenic: GHG; soil surface variations; extraterrestrial cyclic (Milankovich cycles; lunar cycles) and non cyclic (meteorites); terrestrial: Vulcan eruptions. Anthropogenic: GHG, other pollutants, soil surface variations.
CC impacts: 1) Impacts on the cryosphere (snow, glaciers, permafrost) which modifications of the terrestrial radiative energy balance; glacier shrinkage; permafrost degradation and feedbacks; 2) Impacts on the hydrosphere (fluvial, coastal, sea level rise); 3) Impacts on the geosphere (landslides; desertification, soil erosion) and their feedbacks.

The course is divided in 4 main scientific units:
The climate: definitions, climatic variables; climate monitoring methods. Main regional climatic phenomena (NAO, AAO, AO, ENSO).
The Paleoclimate: definition and description of the main proxy data used to recostruct the climate change in the past. Methods of analyses of different proxy data. Pollens, macrorests; fossils; varve; speleothems; lacustrine deposits and ice core geochemistry; stable isotopes etc. Dating of deposits and surfaces: Cosmogenics, 14C, U-Th.
The Climate Change (CC): definitions and examples of data mining and analyses to detect climate changes.
CC Causes: Non anthropogenic: GHG; soil surface variations; extraterrestrial cyclic (Milankovich cycles; lunar cycles) and non cyclic (meteorites); terrestrial: Vulcan eruptions. Anthropogenic: GHG, other pollutants, soil surface variations.
CC impacts: 1) Impacts on the cryosphere (snow, glaciers, permafrost) which modifications of the terrestrial radiative energy balance; glacier shrinkage; permafrost degradation and feedbacks; 2) Impacts on the hydrosphere (fluvial, coastal, sea level rise); 3) Impacts on the geosphere (landslides; desertification, soil erosion) and their feedbacks.

Slides and several scientific papers published on ISI journals will be used during the course and will be available at the beginning of the course.

Main reference books:

The Cryosphere 2011, Shawn J. Marshall, ISBN: 9780691145266; 312 pp

Understanding the Earth System. Global Change Science for Application 2012

Edited by: S E. Cornell,I. C. Prentice, J. I. House, C. J. Downy, ISBN:9781107009363, 291 pp.

Lesson will be given in remote connections assuring an alternance of the site of the classes performance. The individual activity consists in the preparation of a short paper in which the candidate has to use different tecniques of CC data and CC impacts data analyses and study the relationships between CC and the CC impacts. Field activities consists in the training in at least one monitoring method of CC impacts (e.g. glacier frontal variation or active layer thickness through geophysical prospection).

To any further explanation please ask an appointement with an email to: mauro.guglielmin@uninsubria.it with possibilities to meet the students both in Varese and in Como

Professors