A road flooded by heavy rain

Sudden and intense: heavy rain

Time and again, extremely heavy rains devastate entire regions. And due to climate change, they will continue to storm into our lives with greater frequency. Extreme-weather researcher Michael Kunz from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) wants to find out when such events occur more frequently and what impact they have on urban areas.

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In the times of COVID-19 there is no 'consistent' mobility behavior anymore.

There is something moving

COVID-19 is turning our mobility behavior upside down. We are cycling more and walking more often. When it comes to vacations, Germans are discovering RVs for trips to the North or Baltic Seas. Just how sustainable this new mobility is and how it will affect the climate, however, is too early to predict.

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Feld auf dem Pollen durch die Luft fliegen

„We are researching a more precise early-allergy-warning“

For many people who suffer from an allergy, climate change makes life even more difficult. Take pollen allergy, for example: the season starts much earlier because of the mild winters, the pollen count is usually higher - and lasts longer. Even extreme weather conditions can lead to severe allergies, for example for those suffering from asthma.

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Foschungsschiff zwischen Eisbergen

Climate Data from Sea and Ice

Climate change is certain. However, a better understanding of the so-called climate variability would allow us to calculate how high the warming could be in coming decades. Andrew Dolman and his team at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) are working with complex data material from sea and ice.

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Seegras unter Wasser

“For seagrass meadows the impacts could be severe”

Two thirds of the earth's surface is covered by water. Oceans play an important role to us humans - they are food sources, heat stores, trade routes and one of the most important stores of carbon dioxide (CO2). In particular, seagrass meadows along the coasts absorb a lot of CO2, but this ecosystem is sensitive to the effects of climate change and could lose much of its storage function.

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Landschaftsaufnahme, Felder, Schwarzweiß

What is drought?

Dust-dry soils, low water in rivers, risk of forest fires - that was seen in many places in Germany in 2018 and 2019. There was significantly less rainfall than the long-term average and high temperatures, so there was talk of drought years. Spring 2020 was also drier than the average of previous years. But when does one actually speak of drought?

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Nahaufnahme: Tau auf Gras

The Neutron Collector

When stars explode, particles are hurled into space, which then rain down on Earth as neutrons. Scientists use this process to measure soil moisture. One of these scientists is Leipzig physicist Martin Schrön. He wants to use this to help farmers and environmentalists improve their response to climate change.

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Bildausschnitt: Wellen auf dem Meer

Using Big Data to understand our oceans

Die Ozeane verändern sich mit dramatischer Geschwindigkeit. Das könnte Auswirkungen auf das Leben aller Meeresorganismen haben, in einer Weise, die Wissenschaftler noch nicht vollständig verstehen. Deshalb versuchen Willi Rath und das Team „Ozeandynamik“ am GEOMAR die stetig wachsende Menge generierter Daten über Mikroorganismen nutzbar zu machen.

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Sich auftürmende Eisschollen

Traveling through time in the Arctic

Gregor Pfalz has the air of a young researcher who is burning to get to the bottom of things. Which fits perfectly, because his work as a doctoral candidate at the HEIBRiDS Data Science School in Berlin involves analyzing data from sediment collected from Arctic lakes, with the aim of making predictions about the climate of the future. And how does this work? It takes a lot of patience and a mergi

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Blick nach oben: Kronen von Waldbäumen

It’s the mix that matters

The forest is a unique and important habitat for humans and animals alike. Forests cover nearly one third of the Earth’s land mass, and around one third of Germany is forested as well at 11.4 million hectares. But forests are not in good condition right now. The changing climate is hitting them hard.

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Further news from Helmholtz


Der größte Organismus

Die Vielfalt von Pilzen ist erstaunlich: Sie landen als Trüffel auf unserem Teller, sorgen in Form winziger Hefezellen dafür, dass der Teig aufgeht, oder können bei giftigen Vertretern auch schnell…
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Die Stoffstromversteherin

Klimakrise, Ressourcenverschwendung, Artensterben – die globalen Herausforderungen sind riesig. Die Umwelttechnikerin Daniela Thrän erforscht, wie wir mit Bioökonomie nachhaltiger wirtschaften können.
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Der Neutronenfänger

Wenn Sterne explodieren, schleudern sie Teilchen ins Weltall, die als Neutronen auf die Erde regnen. Wissenschaftler nutzen diesen Vorgang, um die Bodenfeuchte zu messen. Einer von ihnen ist der…
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