Air conditioning systems cause huge amounts of CO2. Direct air capture technology can convert this into synthetic fuel, for example.

Cooling for the Climate

Heat and sunshine galore, but hardly any rain – rarely has it been as warm and dry as in the past two and a half years. For many people, air conditioners have helped to make day-to-day life more bearable. But as these appliances hog energy, they intensify the greenhouse effect by emitting large amounts of carbon dioxide.

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Climate change is also raging on German coasts. In summer it will be hotter, in winter especially wetter: storm surges are more frequent and more violent.

“Storm surges are higher and more frequent”

This summer, many people are not going to the beaches of southern Europe, but to northern Germany. Insa Meinke works where the others go on vacation. She heads the North German Coastal and Climate Office at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and researches how climate change is affecting the region in particular.

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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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Further news from Helmholtz


Uhrwerk Arktis

Wissenschaftler aus 20 Nationen haben sich im Eis des Arktischen Ozeans einfrieren lassen und sind ein Jahr lang mit den Eismassen über das Meer gedriftet. Auf der MOSAiC-Expedition haben sie die…
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Über die Berge aufs Meereis

Er war der Expeditionsleiter der Mittwinter-Königsetappe der MOSAiC-Expedition und konnte selbst drei Monaten Dunkelheit etwas abgewinnen: Der Geophysiker Christian Haas liebt es, in den…
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Klimaforschung der Extreme

Zwölf Monate reiste die „Polarstern“ im Rahmen der MOSAiC-Expedition durch das Nordpolarmeer, nun kehren die Wissenschaftler heim. Rund 500 Menschen aus 20 Nationen haben an der außergewöhnlichen…
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RCEMIP-Daten in der Cloud

Das DKRZ stellt einen über 30 Terabyte großen Atmosphärenmodell-Datensatz des Projekts RCEMIP (Radiative Convective Equilibrium Model Intercomparison Project) für die Weiternutzung durch die globale…
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Klimaforscher mit neuem Auftrag

In den vergangenen Jahren war der Geologe und Klimaforscher Gerald Haug oft mit Forschungssegelboot und Tiefseebohrschiff auf den Weltmeeren unterwegs. Doch aktuell müssen die Expeditionen warten…
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„Das macht uns wirklich stolz“

In dem Projekt Digital Earth wollen Geowissenschaftler und Informatiker das System Erde mit datenwissenschaftlichen Methoden besser verstehen. Nun wurde das Projekt mit dem renommierten Digital…
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Was wir über den Klimawandel wissen

Sechs namhafte Forschungsorganisationen haben eine Faktensammlung rund um das Thema Klimawandel zusammengestellt. Das 24-seitige Papier gibt einen anschaulichen Überblick zu zahlreichen aktuellen…
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