Interactions between atmosphere, ice, ocean and land surface have always been an influence on the climate on the Earth. In order to better describe the related exchange processes and long-term developments in the climate system, global climate models have successfully contributed in the past years to gaining an initial understanding of large-scale natural climate fluctuations as well as human influence. However, many processes that affect the climate at various scales are not well understood.
At this time, there exists a broad consensus in the scientific community that there is a high probability that the current warming of the Earth is mainly due to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases and changes in land use.
However, the specific impacts on individual regions have not been well understood thus far. There is not sufficient scientific evidence, for example, to determine whether climate change is the cause of drier summers or wetter winters in a certain region. For agricultural use, however, this is the decisive question. By the same token detailed scenarios regarding the rise in global sea level, for instance, are important for political and economic decision-making processes in order to be able to adapt coastal protection measures accordingly.
Within the framework of the Helmholtz Network "Regional Climate Change" (REKLIM) nine Research Centres of the Helmholtz Association focus their competences in exploring the regional climate. The networks research activities will help to improve the understanding of regional processes and therefore contribute to optimise mitigation and adaptation strategies.
More information on REKLIM: www.reklim.de