Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

VU University Amsterdam

Geo-ecosystems and Climate

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Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Geo-ecosystems and Climate

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The past is the key to the future. This is especially true for climate change. The impact of mankind on the global climate can only be addressed, if we know what natural variations our planet is capable of itself.In this Master’s programme you will unravel how climate, ecosystems and oceans interact by studying the geological past, combining your knowledge of geology, biology and chemistry. Deep-sea drill cores are examined to determine changes in carbonate content, foraminifera and dust input. Isotope geochemistry of macrofossils and microfossils unravels temperature changes in the oceans. You relate drainage patterns and sedimentation or erosion in coastal and river ecosystems and changes in river flows to changes in landscape and climate over time. Or you look at the clues left behind by warmer and colder periods, such as ancient vegetation in the form of pollen or geomorphologic features related to permafrost.The programme aims to highlight research in high-resolution time series of climate proxies of decadal to millennial time scale. Moreover, time series will cover climate change patterns across major boundaries in Earth’s history. Emphasis will be on hot greenhouse periods and detailed climate development of the last 0.5 million years, both on land and sea.Advanced spatial analysis techniques and numerical climate models are used to determine what the world looked like in the last ice age, for example. Or in the near future, which is even more exciting.

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