„Where is the Virtual Reality?“ The fascination of Climate and Earth System Research


On Saturday, the 7th of November 2009, the Third Science Night took place in Hamburg. Over 60 scientific institutions from the region in and around Hamburg presented their work with experiments, lectures and demonstrations - free of charge. One highlight was the KlimaCampus.

The approximately 3000 visitors to the Bundesstraße were characterized mainly by curiosity and enthusiasm but also by a certain concern about climate change and the future. And this was exactly suited to the program we offerred, which aimed at all these aspects.

Only to name a few of the activities: The youngest could complete the "Prehistoric Rallye" in the Geological-Paleontological Museum, work out the giant climate puzzle or find out about the role of the forest for climate. The huge disc of the GKSS-Ferrybox demonstration, with the model freighter and the historic ship machine telegraph, as well as the earthquake station, where a blow with a sledgehammer could be measured with a seismograph, were also constantly surrounded by interested children and youths.

The lectures, which covered many facets of climate change and earth system research, were filled to the capacity of the largest auditorium. The viewings of the German Climate Computing Centre and the Wind Tunnel were continuously overbooked. All seats were filled at the panel discussion on "Communication of Climate Change to Society", and the audience was active and well-informed.

The many colleagues and students of the KlimaCampus, who had been working for weeks to prepare for the event were completely exhausted at closing time, but happy: the offerring was accepted emphatically by Hamburg´s public so the effort was certainly worthwhile!