The Cluster of Excellence CliSAP

How fast is the Arctic sea ice really melting? Will the Gulf Stream continue to bring sufficient warmth to Europe? How will our global economies and societies be impacted by climate change? What conflicts over land, water, and other resources can be expected?

Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence "Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction" (CliSAP) is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). Major CliSAP contributors are the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht (Centre for Materials and Coastal Research, HZG), and the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ).

During the first funding period of the federal Excellence Initiative, 2007—2012, CliSAP received about €28.5 million for its climate studies programs. For the second stretch, from 2012—2017, the DFG has granted the cluster around €24.5 million.

Natural sciences and humanities: A vital alliance

Global change poses questions reaching far beyond the scope of individual academic disciplines. Thus, CliSAP is aiming to cross academic boundaries—with great success. Our scientists from key research areas of meteorology, oceanography, geophysics, and ecology are working in unison with social scientists, economists, media experts, and peace researchers. The cluster’s primary focus is on climate variability and predictability; in particular, regional variations and the interaction between climatic change, economic, and social factors.

Research is a basis for climate chance governance

Complex computational models help CliSAP’s researchers predict the potential ramifications of climate change. Important variables are the human influence on the climate, potential areas of conflict induced by climatic change, and approaches to communicating future Earth system changes. CliSAP is striving to contribute to climate risk management, e.g., by providing policymakers with reasonable recommendations for advancing climate change adaptations.

Communicating climate change

Climate change and its impacts are politically charged issues. Discussions thereof tend to be emotional and partly guided by interests. Therefore, it is all the more important to continue reporting on scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in a reliable, objective, and responsible manner.

At CliSAP, all media and communications efforts are geared towards this goal. We are committed honest brokers in the exchange between science and the public. All regional topics are prepared in collaboration with the North German Climate Office (HZG).