Projects, Collaborations, Networks

We are involved in projects funded by BMBF, DFG, AWI's strategy fund and other funding sources. Cooperations and collaborations have led to a strong network links in the national and international paleoclimate communities.

From the last interglacial to Anthropocene: Modelling of a complete glacial cycle (PalMod)

The aim of this BMBF funded initiative which involves several research institutions and other partners is to improve our understanding of the climate system dynamic and the climate variability during the last glacial cycle. Further information

Contact: Gerrit Lohmann | Gregor Knorr | Martin Werner

Website PalMod:


REKLIM Regional Climate Initiative within the Helmholtz Association

The longterm goal of REKLIM is the development of coupled Earth system modells with a regional focus, including the interdependency between atmosphere, ocean, cryoshere, biosphere, land surface and soil. In cooperation with appropriate observing strategies and data analysis techniques we aim at describing and evaluating climate changes in the past, present and future. Key aspects: "Sea level changes and coastal protection" & "Abrupt climate change derived from proxy data"

Contact: Klaus Grosfeld | Gerrit Lohmann | Gregor Knorr

Website REKLIM:


Utilizing Regression Relationships to Enable Seasonal Prediction on Federal Waterways (AWI - Bundesanstalt für Gewässerkunde)

This project aims at enabling forcasting of seasonal variations in water levels and currents in Germany’s rivers based upon stable teleconnections, global climate indexes, and surface temperatures.

Contact: Monica Ionita-Scholz

Website BfG:


OC1 "The Ocean in the Earth System" Seasonal and Decadal Climate Variability determined from Ocean Data, Coral Proxies, and Model Simulations, Excellence Cluster MARUM

Large-scale ocean circulation is influenced by a variety of processes, for instance ventilation of the overturning circulation and interconnections between the subpolar and subtropical gyres. We aim to use both model simulations as well as paleoclimate proxies to examine this influence and the corresponding trigger mechanisms, which, occur on time scales varying from 10 to 1000 years.

Contact: Christopher Danek | Gerrit Lohmann

Website OC1:


OC3 „The Ocean in the Earth System“ Interaction between the Atmosphere and Ocean at the high and mid Latitudes, Excellence Cluster MARUM

This project aims to examine the influence of iron dust on the global climate, and the corresponding feedbacks between the high and mid latitudes, which occur on timescales ranging from one year to hundreds of thousands of years. A key aim is to examine feasibility of geoengineering projects in order to adapt to possible future climate change due to anthropogenic influence.

Contact: Monica Ionita-Scholz | Gerrit Lohmann

Website OC3:


Paleolimnological Transect – climate and vegetation history from lake sediments (PLOT)

The BMBF funded projects "PLOT - Paleolimnological Transect" aims at the reconstruction of climate and vegetation changes alongside a 6000km long transect from the Ladoga lake in West Russia to the El'gygytgyun lake in East Siberia. The reconstruction is based on a multi-disciplinary geoscientific analysis of sediment cores from five different lakes, which will be linked to results from respective paleoclimate simulations.

Contact: Martin Werner

Website PLOT:


From source to sink - Determination of the isotopic fingerprint for the water cycle in the Eastern Arctic (Iso-Arc)

Main objective of the project Iso-Arc, which is funded by the AWI strategy fund, is the first in-depth determination and description of the water cycle east of the Arctic, its isotopic composition (H218O, HD16O)and its mapping in different climate archives. Measurements of water vapour will be conducted in combination with ocean and precipitation data as well as with climate simulations with isotope diagnosis.

Contact: Martin Werner


CSC-Project Climate Variability

In this project we aim at investigating past climate variability by means of climate modelling. We focus in particular on the study of feedback mechanisms that include ocean circulation and the effects of sea ice and ice sheets.

Contact: Xiaoxu Shi, project finance provided by China Scholarship Council


Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project, Phase 4 (PMIP4)

In the framework of the Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project, Phase 4 (PMIP4) we compare our climate models and their results with those of other research groups. In this context the following climate states are considered: Interglacials of the Quaternary, the climate of the Pliocene (via the PMIP4-associated Pliocene Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 2 (PlioMIP2)), selected pre-Pliocene climate states, as well as the decay of ice sheets during the last glacial period. Further information

Contact: Gerrit Lohmann | Christian Stepanek

Website PMIP4:

Website PlioMIP2:


PAGES - Past Global Changes

PAGES supports scientific approaches to understand past environmental conditions with the aim of compiling projections for the future. The PAGES community brings together experts for paleo-climate and paleo-environment, and their supporters.

Contact: Gerrit Lohmann

Website PAGES:


Longterm Streamflow Forecast for the Elbe River

Based on existing experience in the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) with the long-term forecast of large river basins based on global climate data, this project in collaboration with the Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) aims to test and optimize the predictability of Elbe river streamflow at monthly and seasonal time scale and, if possible, to extend the forecast horizon up to 6 months ahead.

Contact: Monica Ionita-Scholz

Website HPA:


Transient deglacial simulations in an earth system model

The last deglaciation (21~8ka BP) is characterized by abrupt climate changes, such as Bolling-Allerod warming, Young Dryas cooling, of which underlying dynamics remain elusive. In this project funded by the Helmholtz Association, we will employ an isotope-enabled climate model with ice sheet dynamics to simulate the climate evolution in the last 21,000 years. This approach enables us 1) make a direct data-model comparison for our understanding of recorded climate change and 2) evaluate feedbacks among different components of climate system that shape the last deglaciation.

Contact: Yuchen Sun | Xu Zhang

Website Helmholtz Association:


"Global Sea Level Changes since the mid Holocene: background trends and interdependencies between ice sheets and climate system" within the framework of the priority program: Regional Sea Level Change and Society (SeaLevel)

Over the last few decades the contribution of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica to sea level
rise has grown. It is however not clear to what extent the recent reduction in land ice mass is related
to the globally warming climate. This DFG funded project aims to assess natural variability and long-term trends in the ice sheets’ mass balance and to relate these to the changes during the industrial period. For this purpose we turn our attention to the last 6000 years, from Mid Holocene to present, as this period is characterized by similar to present ice sheet geometries as well as only moderate and gradual climate change before the onset of rising greenhouse gas concentration. Combining ice sheet simulations and climate simulations, we focus on those interactions between the climate system and the ice sheets, which are usually unresolved in millennial scale simulations.

Contact: Uta Krebs-Kanzow | Hu Yang

Website DFG:


MarDATA - Time Series Analysis in Climate Science

Ice core records from Greenland and Antarctica show a profound connection between the climate history on the two hemispheres. We want to extend the mathematical model that has been used so far to describe this connection ("bipolar seesaw") and supplement it with additional climate parameters to deepen the understanding about paleoclimate variability on a global scale. Further, we want to use methods of extreme value theory to analyse recently observed and predicted climate changes and assess the magnitude and impacts of future extremal climate events. This will also include an analysis of spatio-temporal dependencies between extremal events.

Contact: Justus Contzen | Gerrit Lohmann