Climate Geophysics

Antarctica by Philipp Arndt (SIO/UCSD)

Photo: Philipp Arndt, SIO/UCSD

What is Climate Geophysics?

  • Climate Geophysics investigates dynamic processes at and near Earth’s surface to give insight into physical and chemical properties revealing climate evolution affecting communities worldwide.








Geophysics allows us to combine the data we observe with physics models to “see” into our oceans, throughout our atmosphere, under glaciers, across permafrost zones, and into groundwater reservoirs beneath our feet. By combining geophysical data and models, we can refine our understanding of how our climate functions and better forecast future risks and design strategies to reduce the impact of climate change. 

Eileen Martin

Assistant Professor, Mines Geophysics

Geophysicists deploy a buoy. (Photo: Gwendal Marechal)

Explore the Work

Climate Geophysicists map the global oceans and give insight into how wave dynamics and ocean currents impact climate. (Photo: Bia Villas Bôas, Mines)

Climate Geophysicists gather data on ice sheet topography and water flow, revealing how glacial dynamics impact the global climate. (Photo: Matthew Siegfried, Mines)

Climate Geophysicists quantify global water quality and distribution and assess drought conditions’ onset, duration and impact. (Photo: Getty)

Climate Geophysicists monitor the state of global permafrost to assess how its gradual long-term degradation impacts climate evolution. (Photo: NASA)

Components of the Track

Geophysics Courses

  • GPGN 420 Electrical & Electromagnetics
  • GPGN 470 Remote Sensing
  • GPGN 473 Cryosphere Geophysics
  • GPGN 474 Hydrogeophysics
  • GPGN 4xx Physical Oceanography*
  • GPGN 5xx Polar Cryosphere*
  • CCUS 520 Climate Change & Sustainability

Geology and Geological Engineering

  • GEOL 440 Plate Tectonics
  • GEGN 466 Groundwater
  • GEGN 4xx Paleoclimate*
  • GEGN 498 Surface Processes


  • MATH 432 Spatial Statistics

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences

  • HASS 360 Research, Values, Communication
  • HASS 427 Risk Communication
  • HASS 448 Global Environmental Issues
  • HASS 484 US Water Politics & Policy

*Course is under development




Student Perspective