85856 - Agroclimatology And Microclimatology

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Agricultural Sciences and Technologies (cod. 9235)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the student knows the main environmental factors and their interactions with agricultural, forestry and natural ecosystems, is able to measure and evaluate them; knows how to calculate energy balance. He learn the principles of climatology that govern the climate and allows him to understand the ongoing climate change. Has knowledge of possible mitigation and adaptation techniques in the new evolving climate situation. He also knows the main applications of agro-meteorology in particular environments, such as greenhouse, urban environment, urban gardens and other innovative mitigation techniques of climate change.

Course contents


The student is required to know the basic notions of agrometeorology, the knowledge of the main agrometeorological quantities and their elaborations, the basic notions of climatology. These notions are usually taught in agrometeorology courses, which however are not present in all three-year degree courses, or in agronomy courses.


The course of Agroclimatology and Microclimatology (Agroclimatology and Climate Change) basically consists of three teaching units, a first introductory part that gives the basics of Agroclimatology, a second specifically on Climate Change and a third part of Microclimatology. At the end of the course, the student knows the main environmental factors and their interactions with agricultural, forest and natural ecosystems, is able to carry out measurements and know how to evaluate them; he knows how to calculate energy balances. He knows the basics of climatology, and the principles that govern the climate allow him to understand the ongoing climate change. He has notions of possible climate change mitigation techniques, from the perspective of Nature Based Solutions, and has knowledge of possible adaptation techniques to the new evolving climate situation. He also knows the main applications of agroclimatology to particular environments, such as greenhouses, urban greenery, urban gardens and other innovative techniques for mitigating climate change.

Teaching unit 1. Agroclimatology (12 hours of lectures and 8 hours of exercises)
1) Introduction to agrometeorology (main environmental factors). Field exercise during which an agrometerological station is mounted, some sensors are connected to a data logger, and put into operation. (EXERCISE)
2) Acquisition and management of information sources. Climatic, hydrological and biological data. Data quality, main methodologies. Mathematical-statistical treatment of meteorological and climatic data (percentiles, heat waves, Mann Kendall test, etc.).
3) Energy and radiation balances applied to the different ecosystems, estimation and measurement of the components of the balance. Processing of radiation and balance data.
4) Starting from the energy balance at the evapotranspiring surface, the Penman-Monteith equation is obtained. Crop coefficients and stress coefficients applied to the calculation of effective evapotranspiration. Evolution of evapotranspiration and crop coefficients with climate change.

Teaching unit 2. Climate change (12 hours of lectures and 8 hours of exercises and seminars)
5) Climatology and agroclimatology, climatic and bioclimatic indices. Climate change, future scenarios.
6) impact of climate change in agriculture, abiotic stress and consequences on crops and the environment. Agriculture adaptation strategies to the new climate; mitigation possibilities given by agriculture.
7) climatological modeling for the study of climate change (SEMINAR)
8) Notes on agricultural modeling. (SEMINAR)
9) Sensitivity analysis of the models.

Teaching unit 3. Microclimatology (12 hours of lectures and 8 hours of exercises and seminars).
10) Principles of the climate inside the greenhouse: energy balance, vapor and carbon balance. Climate control in the greenhouse.
11) Urban microclimate: the urban heat island, parks, gardens, car parks, crop coefficients for the irrigation of urban green spaces, the case of urban gardens
12) management of the urban microclimate, nature based solutions.
13) Climatological modeling for the study of urban microclimate, case studies (SEMINAR)
In the last part of the course Case studies presented by students, concerning examples of adaptation and mitigation


- Monteith, Unsworth: Principle of Environmental Physics, Arnold, 1990.

- Campbell, Gaylon S. / Norman, John M. (eds.): An Introduction to Environmental Biophysics. Springer, New York 1998.

- slide of classes and other material, in Italian and English

Teaching methods

The course consists of theoretical frontal lessons, field exercises, which show agrometeorological tools, educational excursions, expert seminars on specific topics.

Assessment methods

Verification of learning takes place through a final exam that ensures the acquisition of the expected knowledge and skills and through an oral presentation on adaptation and mitigation topics.

The exam consists of a one-and-a-half-hour written test without the help of notes or books. The written exam consists of 5 questions, open answer, up to 27 points. If 18 point out of 30 are achieved it  is possible to keep the vote.

The oral presentation is an integral part of the course, the students will agree with the teacher about the themes on which make the presentation in class, lasting about 15 minutes. It will be the result of a group work. The presentation is up to 4 points. It is not compulsory. For those who will not do it during the course but still want to take it,  the opportunity to take it later.

Students wishing to take the exam in English must ask at least 2 days in advance.

Teaching tools

The course consists of theoretical lectures, exercises, educational excursions, seminars of experts on specific topics.

The theoretical and practical teaching activities of the first cycle of lessons 2020/21 will take place in attendance for all students compatibly with the health conditions and with the regulations in relating to the COVID-19 emergency. Didactic activities and university laboratories will in any case also be guaranteed online.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Ventura


Zero hunger Clean water and sanitation Sustainable cities Climate Action

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.