The Snowball Earth Hypothesis

Lifelong learning – 7.5 credits, Course code GG1015
Start Spring term period 1
Language: Swedish and English
Det första beviset av en världsomfattande glaciation för 700 miljoner år sedan från Islay, Skottland.

The course will be given on Wednesday evenings starting January 19 2017

The life long learning course Snowball Earth hypothesis is about several worldwide (snowball) glaciations 600-750 million years ago. You will learn about geological processes which control Earth’s climate, causes of extreme climate events, scientific debate and ongoing research. The course includes an excursion to Islay, Scotland where the first evidence for the Snowball Earth hypothesis was found in 1871.

Lecture 1: The geology behind the climate system
Lecture 2: From Greenhouse to Icehouse and an extreme climate event
Lecture 3: The Current Ice Age
Lecture 4: The Snowball Earth Hypothesis
Lecture 5: Var är en bergart?
Lecture 6.1: Sedimentologiska argument för och emot hypotesen
Lecture 6.2: Kan livet "övervintra" en Snowball Earth?
Lecture 7: Geokemiska argument för och emot hypotesen
Lecture 8: Bevis för och emot hypotesen från Islay och Garvellachöarna
Lecture 9: Snowball Earth Analogier
Lecture 9: (zip fil) Software for visualization of Milancovitch orbital cycles. Courtesy Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, University of New Hampshire, USA.
Lecture 10:Kan Snowball Earth hända igen?

Course Director
Alasdair Skelton, Geological Sciences, Photo: Eva DalinProf. Alasdair Skelton
Department of Geological Sciences

Stockholm University
106 91 Stockholm


Admission requirements

The grade point average of your upper secondary school leaving certificate 67%, the Swedish national university aptitude test 33%.

Read more about admission requirements


Please apply at:


– Log in on
– Click on "Course registration"
– Check the box placed by the relevant course
No account? Click on "How to get an account" on



for the 2017 spring term has been updated (dec. 22)

Course literature

Earth's Climate: Past and Future by William F. Ruddiman


The course includes an excursion to Islay, Scotland.


is based on a written/oral assessment at the end of the course, a field trip report (or equivalent). Assessment criteria are:
A = Excellent
B = Very good
C = Good
D = Satisfactory
E = Sufficient
Fx = Insufficient
F = Entirely insufficient

The assessment criteria will be outlined at the start of the course. To pass the course, a minimum grade E is necessary
Department of Geological Sciences
Svante Arrhenius väg 8, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46 (0)8 16 20 00 | Web administrator ines.jakobsson[at]
In case of emergency call (08) 16 22 16 or (08) 16 42 00