2023-2024 / SPAT0027-3

Climate change and impacts


30h Th, 30h Pr

Number of credits

 Master in geology (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in geography, global change (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in space sciences (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Louis François, Guy Munhoven


Guy Munhoven

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

All year long, with partial in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course provides a synthesis of ongoing and future climate change and of its impacts on the environment and human societies. It is mostly based upon the IPCC report, which is available from the world-wide web.
The following themes are covered:

1. Overview of the climate system;
2. Greenhouse effect and radiative forcing;
3. Carbon cycle and greenhouse gas balances;
4. Climate change during the 20th century: data analysis and models;
5. Past climate changes: methods of reconstruction and synthesis of observations (last millennium, Holocene, Pleistocene)
6. Future climate change: socio-econimic scenarios and IPCC climate projections
7. Climate change impacts (sea-level, hydrology, terrestrial and marine ecosystems, human societies).

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

This course provides an introduction to the problematics of global climate change.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Basic knowledge about how of physical, chemical and biological processes control Earth's evolution.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

By way of tutorials, bibliographic homeworks dealing with subjects related to various themes covered during the lectures will be proposed to students. Each student may chose a subject he/she is interested in. This way, they have the chance to improve on the basics covered by the main lectures. They are expected to produce a written text of three to four pages and to make a short oral presentation for the class or for secondary school students.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Recommended or required readings

Online IPCC publications:

Sixth IPCC Assessment Report (AR6, Climate Change 2023):

  • Working Group I: The Physical Basis of Climate Change
  • Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
  • Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change
Previous assessment reports (TAR, AR4, AR5) and various special reports of IPCC.


Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

An oral examination on the theoretical module is organised during the January exam session.
The bibliographic homework (written report and oral presentation) is also evaluated. The notes are weighted as follows:

  • oral examination: 50%
  • bibliographic homework - written report: 10%
  • bibliographic homework - oral presentation: 40%
It is mandatory for the students to attend the preparation sessions of the oral presentation. The written report will be delivered in February before the first preparation session. In case of absence to these sessions or of non delivery of the report, the student will not be admitted to this part of the examination.

Work placement(s)

This course does not require any internship.

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The course is organised during the first semester and the beginning of the second semester along three modules :
- theory (20 h)
- bibliographic homeworks (35 h)
- oral presentation of bibliographic homeworks and debates (5 h)

Schedule for 2023-2024: Tuesday afternoon 13h00-17h00 during the fall term (Sep 19th to Dec 19th in room S2, B7a building) + some lectures during the spring term (various rooms, to be announced).


Louis François, Professor,
Unit for Climate and Biogeochemical Cycles Modelling (UMCCB),
Institute of Astrophysics et and Geophysics (B5c build.),
Phone: (+32) (4) 366-9776
e-mail: Louis.Francois@uliege.be

Guy Munhoven, Research Associate F.R.S.-FNRS
Laboratoire de Planetary and Atmospheric Physics (LPAP)
Institute of Astrophysics and Geophysics (B5c build.),
Phone: (+32) (4) 366-9771
e-mail: Guy.Munhoven@uliege.be
Web: http://www.astro.uliege.be/~munhoven

Association of one or more MOOCs

There is no MOOC associated with this course.

Items online

Online notes
On-line notes available on UMCCB website

Lecture slides (Guy Munhoven)
This web page provides the slides for the lectures given by Guy Munhoven.
The material is freely accessible.