Single-Course English 5 ECTS

Climate change – impacts, mitigation and adaptation

Overall Course Objectives

It is “extremely likely” that human influences have been the dominant cause of global warming in the last 50 years. It concludes the latest report of the International Climate Change Panel (IPCC) with even greater certainty than previous reports. In recent decades, climate changes have affected natural and man-made systems on all continents and across oceans. There are changes such as atmospheric and ocean heating, changes in global water circuits, less ice and snow, average sea level rise, and more extreme weather phenomena such as droughts and heavy rains. We can, to some extent, counteract and adapt to climate change.

This course provides a broad introduction to climate change. The first part of the course deals with the physical mechanisms of climate change, ie. the climate system and its response to greenhouse gas emissions. Important concepts like radiative forcing, feedback mechanisms and the carbon cycle is presented. The latest greenhouse gas inventories are presented and the link through climate models for the future climate is reviewed. The second part of the course explains the role of United Nation in relation to anthropogenic climate change and presents their main tools, i.e. treaties, protocols, and COP/CMP meetings. The last part of the course deals with impacts on humans and the environment as a result of climate change and opportunities to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The focus will be on Denmark especially on effects on natural and man-made systems including health, ecosystems, infrastructure, etc.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the structure of the atmosphere, the Earth’s energy balance and the natural greenhouse effect
  • Explain the carbon cycle and know the main flows, stocks, and sinks as well as human influence on these
  • Explain the main greenhouse gases, their strength (including radiative forcing and global warming potentials) and accumulation in the atmosphere as well as their role in the climate change
  • Explain the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions as well as methods for estimation of emissions
  • Explain how projection of the climate is made based on emission scenarios
  • Know about climate models, their uses and limitations
  • Describe the methods that can be used to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and explain the challenges of setting and achieving emission reduction targets
  • Explain the role of United Nation in relation to anthropogenic climate change and their main tools, i.e. treaties, protocols, and COP/CMP meetings
  • Explain the main effects of climate change on the global scale and on the Danish scale
  • Explain how climate impacts can be addressed through different strategies for climate adaptation focusing in particular on Danish conditions.

Course Content

The course content consists of lectures and exercises that support the course goals and highlight the mechanisms and effects of climate change and the possibilities of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Teaching Method

Lectures, problem solving / discussion groups, project work with various case studies, guest lectures


See course in the course database.





13 weeks




DTU Lyngby Campus

Course code 12205
Course type Bachelor
Semester start Week 5
Semester end Week 19
Days Tues 13-17

7.500,00 DKK