Science and Politics of Climate Change

MESS51, 7.5 credits

The Science and Politics of Climate Change course provides a basic scientific understanding of the dynamics and complexity of the climate system, including its connections to the marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

The course also provides an understanding of and an ability to analyse and understand political questions and decision making in relation to climate mitigation and climate adaptation. Based on this, the course aims to provide a deepened understanding of the most important scientific questions and how these are reflected and dealt with in the international climate policy debate. The course also includes methods components such as how to handle scientific uncertainty and detection and attribution. Special attention is given to ethical perspectives such as global justice.

The course starts with a survey of the dynamics and complexity of the climate system. Then the course provides a special focus on an evaluation of different climate science debates and how these are linked to important climate policy questions. To select these key questions and debates is an important aspect of the course and it is organized through moderated dialogues and processes amongst the students and between students and lecturer.

The course consists primarily of reading and evaluation of scientific articles, mixed with lectures, seminars and debates, the structure of which is decided upon amongst the course participants along the way. The course work should result in a scientific evaluation of and a survey of current climate science. Both the process and the resulting reports are inspired by the scientific protocol of the IPCC.

Literature list

Literature list, established 2020-06-11 PDF (181 kB)


I really really enjoyed the guest lectures of the course. It was really interesting and stimulating to hear from people who have had experiences in communicating science to politicians. I think it's a great way of engaging with the topic and I would definitely keep the input.


Student, Batch 23