Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

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Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on NAVIGATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGIES
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Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course provides the student with the tools to learn the basic knowledge on modern methods of integrated analysis that allow to reconstruct the trend of the climate in past eras through the use of paleontological data of both plant and animal origin, petrographic, geochemical(proxy data) . This educational approach is a key tool in the field of paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstructions for the definition of global climate and environmental change scenarios.


no prerequisite


PALEOCLIMATOLOGY - Climate and climate change; The climate system; Climate archives, data and models.
PLATE TECTONICS - Earth's heat flux and associated phenomena; It derives from the continents; classification of continental margins; expansion of the ocean floor; methods for measuring the spreading rate of the ocean floor; magnetic anomalies and their meaning, magnetostratigraphy; distribution of sedimentary cover on oceanic crust.
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS - Degradation of rocks, processes and mechanisms of transport and deposition. Composition, textures and sedimentary structures and their meaning. Diagenesis and lithification.
NOTES OF STRATIGRAPHY Stratigraphy principles; Main stratigraphic units. Absolute and relative chronology, scale of geological time. Sedimentary dynamics and notes on depositional environments.
CLIMATE CHANGES TO THE TECTONIC SCALE. CO2 and the long-term evolution of the climate. Plate tectonics and long-term changes in climate. The evolution of the climate from the Precambrian to the Quaternary. The Faint Young Sun Paradox. Climate model of the super continent Pangea; the tectonic control of CO2; the Blag hypotesis (spreading rate). The tectonic control on the removal of CO2, the uplift weathering hypotesis.
THE GREENHOUSE CLIMATE REGIME IN THE GEOLOGICAL PAST. Simulation model of the Cretaceous's greenhouse. Volume change of ocean basins.
FROM THE GREENHOUSE REGIME TO THE ICEHOUSE REGIME: the last 50 million years. Evidence and analysis techniques of climatic variations (vegetation, oxygen isotopes and Mg / Ca ratio measurements).
CLIMATE CHANGES TO THE ORBITAL SCALE. Astronomical control on insolation.
Insolation control on the extension of the ice caps. Variations on the orbital scale of CO2 and CH4. Interactions at the orbital scale and feedback.
THE CLIMATE CHANGE OF THE LAST 20,000 YEARS. The Last Glacial Maximum. The oscillations of the climate at the millennial scale. The climate and the presence of man. The climate during the last 1000 years and in the last century.

Elements of Stratigraphy. Climate and climate change. Climate archives, data and models. Paleomagnetism and magnetostratigraphy. 8h

Stable isotopes in paleoclimatology. 2h

Forcing climates. Climate change on the tectonic scale. CO2 and long-term climate evolution. 8h

The evolution of the climate from the Precambrian to the Quaternary. Plate tectonics and long-term climate variations. The Faint young Sun Paradox. 6h

Glacial regimes in the geological past. The greenhouse climate regime in the geological past. From the greenhouse regime to the icehouse regime: the last 50 million years. 8h

Climate change on the orbital scale. Astronomical control on insolation. The control of insolation on the extension of the ice caps.
Variations on the orbital scale of CO2 and CH4. 8h

The climate changes of the last 20,000 years. 4h

The Last Glacial Maximum. The oscillations of the climate on the millennial scale. 4h

Teaching Methods

frontal teaching lessons


Ruddiman William F. 2nd Edition., Earth's Climate (Past and Future). --: W.H. Freeman And Company., 2007.

Learning assessment

The objective of the exam consists in verifying the level of achievement of the previously indicated training objectives.
The exam consists of an oral test in which the ability to describe link and compare different aspects treated during the course will be evaluated.

More information

optional verification tests