Degree course: 
Corso di Second cycle degree in ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES
Academic year when starting the degree: 
Academic year in which the course will be held: 
Course type: 
Compulsory subjects, characteristic of the class
Second semester
Standard lectures hours: 
Detail of lecture’s hours: 
Lesson (36 hours), Exercise (24 hours)

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

Final Examination: 

The final assessment will be an oral test related to the individual activity and the program of the course.
At least 2 questions will be asked regarding on the individual activity and 1 questions for each module of the program and 1 on the field work.

Voto Finale

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

At the end of the class the student will achieve climatological, glaciological and cryological skills able to:
1. Chose, evaluate and validate climatological, glacio-cryological data series or geophysical;
2. define the basic procedures to analyse and elaborate data series;
3. knowledge the main elements of the climate change and of the related impact and feedbacks on the abiotic systems

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) (6 h).
The Climate Change (CC): definitions and examples of data mining and analyses to detect climate changes (6 h).
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 (6h).
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 (14h).

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.

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.

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: with possibilities to meet the students both in Varese and in Como