The two-year research Master's programme Climate Physics focuses on the fundamental physical processes that make up the Earth's climate system, on theoretical, observational and computational knowledge of the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere (ice) and biosphere, and on their interactions.
Concern about anthropogenic global climate change has acquired an increased sense of urgency in recent decades. Although our understanding of the physical processes in the climate system has improved steadily, many questions still remain unanswered. In order to determine how trace gases, aerosols and clouds change the Earth ́s radiation balance, how ocean currents affect the global climate system, how melting glaciers and ice sheets – and the ensuing sea level rise – affect coastal systems, a quantitative grasp of the various components of the climate system and their interactions is needed. So, apart from being scientifically interesting and challenging, climate-related research is very relevant to society.
The programme is designed to train talented motivated students to become researchers. Students are encouraged to develop a critical attitude towards the results of research projects and the validity of their underlying assumptions.
The Climate Physics Master programme requires significant mathematical skills. A bachelor in physics, chemistry, applied mathematics, or earth sciences with a significant mathematical component, are the best preparation for this programme.
The Climate Physics master is one of few master programmes in the world that addreses all components of the climate system (atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere and biosphere) as well as their interactions. The Climate Physics programme is closely integrated with the PhD programme of the Buys Ballot Research School (BBOS), which is led by the Institute for Marine at Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU). This relationship has led to a stimulating, challenging, friendly environment in which students and staff know each other by name and meet not only in classes but also during coffee breaks, sporting and other social events.