Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Master's Degree Programme on SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGIES OF NAVIGATION
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
Second 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.




The Quaternary climate variability and main geomorphic effects at global and local scale. The main geomorphological and morphostratigraphic paleoclimatic proxies. Periglacial and glacial morphoclimatic systems. Alpine glacialism and main phases of progress and retreat of glacial fronts. The glacioeustasy and main coastal paleo-indicators (marine terraces, beach rock, wave cut notchs, etc.)

The climate of the upper pleistocene. The interglacial MIS 5 and related sub stages. Tyrrhenian marine terraces in southern Italy. The Last Glacial Maximum.
The climate during the Olocene. The oscillations of the climate at the millennial scale. Climate Optimum and Neoglaciation. The climate and human activity. The climate during the last 1000 years and the Little Ice Age. The climate of the last century and the ongoing climate changes.

The course is organized in two modules (Module 1 of 6 CFU and Module 2 of 3 CFU) deals with the following topics:

Module 1
Climate proxies (16 h):
Climate archives; climate forcing; Plate Tectonics; how sedimentary rocks are formed; basic principles of stratigraphy;
Sea level changes (8 h):
eustatism and relative variations of sea level; climate changes to the tectonic scale;
The Carbon cycle and isotopic stratigraphy (8 h):
the greenhouse climate regime in the geological past; from the greenhouse regime to the icehouse regime;
Milankovic’s cycles (16 h):
climate changes to the orbital scale; insolation control of ice sheets;

Module 2
Late Quaternary climatic oscillations (12 h):
the climate during the Quaternary period and focus on last 120,000 years climate variability.
The Holocene (12 h):
The climate during the Holocene. The ongoing climate change.

Teaching Methods



Ruddiman William F. 2nd Edition., Earth's Climate (Past and Future). --: W.H. Freeman And Company., 2007.
C. Smiraglia, “Guida ai ghiacciai e alla glaciologia”. Zanichelli.
P. Casati e F. Pace, “Scienze della Terra”. Vol. II - Città Studi Ed.
Bennet, “Glacial Geology: Ice Sheets and Landforms”, 2nd Edition - Wiley.
R.S. Bradley, “Paleoclimatology. Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary”, 2nd Edition -

Learning assessment

Oral exam. The ability to explain clearly the topics of the course will be evaluated. The exam is passed if the score obtained is equal to or higher than 18/30

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