Course Unit Page


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

Zero hunger Clean water and sanitation Sustainable cities Climate Action

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student has acquired the knowledge of the main environmental factors and their interactions with agricultural, forest and natural ecosystems and is able to carry out measurements and to relate environmental factors with agronomic problems.

He is able to interpret the relationships between the measured parameters. He has acquired the basics of modeling applicable to agricultural practice. He is able to independently evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the results obtained, thanks to the adequate use of tools and operating techniques based on objective data, and on GIS. He has the means to elaborate his own opinion on the phenomena of climate change and can pass  the knowledge acquired to others, he has understood the methodologies that support adaptation and mitigation actions. The student also knows the interactions between the climate outside a greenhouse and the microclimate inside it, how the main climatic parameters that influence crop growth are modified and how it is possible to manage the microclimate in the greenhouse, the advanced methodologies for greenhouse management, the interactions between cultural and technological choices. The student is therefore able to understand the main issues related to cultivation in a controlled environment, also as a function of the climate of the area in which he is preparing to operate, and potentially in conditions of climate change.

Finally, the student will have knowledge of the concepts of microclimatology, of which the climate in the greenhouse is an application; other applications that will be presented concern the urban climate and its management, urban green and its management.

Course contents

The course of 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 techniques for mitigating climate change, 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 (8 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.
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, 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 4 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.

- material provided by the teacher through AMS Campus: slides of the lectures, handouts in Italian on the topics of points 3 and 4, in-depth studies on the same in English, two reports on climate change, adaptation and mitigation of the Ministry of the Environment and the protection of the Territory and the Sea, in Italian, for the topics in points 6 and 7, handouts in Italian for teaching unit 3.

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