NKEK11002U Cancelled Atmospheric Environmental Chemistry

Volume 2021/2022

MSc Programme in Chemistry with a minor subject
MSc Programme in Environmental Science


Atmospheric Chemistry; from air pollution to climate change
The course covers seven topics:
1) Atmospheric photochemistry and kinetics,
2) Stratospheric chemistry
3) Tropospheric chemistry
4) Aqueous chemistry
5) Particles
6) Deposition and Modeling
7) Climate

Learning Outcome

The student should have a feeling for the orders of magnitude of values commonly found in atmospheric chemistry including for example concentrations of important radicals and trace gases, pressures and temperatures, the density of an atmospheric particle, NOx levels.
The student should be able to describe the fate of a number of chemicals (that are part of the pensum) when they are emitted into the atmosphere, to know their sources and have a feeling for their lifetime and effects on the local and global environment.
The student should be able to discuss climate change and account for the mechanisms and causes of anthropogenic climate change.

Describe radiative balance including the properties of solar and earthly emission of light. Describe the greenhouse effect and know the most important greenhouse gases. Describe the kinetics and mechanism of the degradation of different chemicals in the atmosphere. Describe the systems of reactions in the troposphere and stratosphere including sources, initiation, propagation, termination, sinks, radical families. Describe the sources, transformations and fate of atmospheric particles

The student should:
-possess general background knowledge of atmospheric chemistry.
-be able to account for the most important chemistry occuring in the troposphere.
-be able to describe stratospheric chemistry and the mechanisms underlying ozone formation and destruction
-be able to write the mechanisms for deposition of gasses and particles
-know the chemistry occurring in water droplets and account for the physical chemistry that determines how well a given chemical is taken up into the liquid phase
-know the principles governing particle formation, growth and fate in the atmosphere
-be able to draw a figure showing different classes of particle sizes found in the atmosphere and be able to describe their sources, lifetimes and key chemical components.
-be able to discuss climate change including the mechanisms and causes of anthropogenic climate forcings

To achieve the grade of 12 the student should master the material and goals described in the course description and that are part of the exam with no or only a few minor mistakes. The student should demonstrate understanding of the physical and chemical processes underlying atmospheric properties. The student should demonstrate understanding of specific formulas with relevant units, and chemical reaction equations. The student should know of any relevant assumptions behind these equations. The student shall demonstrate an overview of the subject and be able to explain connections between the seven topics. The student should be able to explain the flow of chemicals and material through the atmospheric environment from emission to deposition, and evaluate the environmental impact locally and globally. The student should have a feeling for which parts of the subject are well known and which are less well developed.


Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics by J. H. Seinfeld and S. N. Pandis, Third Edition, Wiley, 2016, and articles.

Background knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry (organic, inorganic, physical) obtained in a Bachelors degree study of chemistry or a related subject.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Lectures and exercises, field trips
Exceptions can be made to admit students with other backgrounds, for example meteorologists, biologists and geologists have enjoyed the course.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 28
  • Preparation
  • 149
  • Theory exercises
  • 21
  • Guidance
  • 7
  • Exam
  • 1
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min (no preparation time)
Written aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
several internal examiners

Same as original exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

See learning outcomes