Martin Claussen combines experience gained in climate research in the geosciences and paleontology as well as in physically and meteorologically oriented climatology. With this background, he belongs to a very small group of climate researchers that is able to weigh and understand today’s climate situation and future developments – while taking past natural climate changes and their causes into consideration.
His broad range of research areas comprises theoretical modelling in order to study the vegetation within our climate system and the interactions between geosphere and biosphere, climate and climate system modelling, seeking causes for abrupt natural climate changes in the past as well as developing a first approach in Earth system modelling.
Martin Claussen is one of the first scientists who have coupled vegetation models with meteorological models of atmosphere dynamics. He was the first who proved that atmosphere-vegetation interaction is one of the most important processes to explain palaeoclimatic changes in Northern Africa, in particular the expansion and retreat of the Sahara in the course of glacial-interglacial cycles during the past 400 000 years.
It was his fundamental discovery that has significantly influenced the development of palaeoclimate modelling: the system of atmosphere and vegetation is able to adopt several equilibrium conditions. According to this approach, swathes of the Sahara might be a relatively green savannah, given different climate conditions, and not only a desert.
Since 2005 Martin Claussen has been Professor of Meteorology at the University of Hamburg as well as Scientific Member and Director at the MPI-M.
The Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities was founded in 1992 by the German Federal States of Berlin and Brandenburg. Its main focus is on research work reconstructing cultural heritage, on interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects concerning both scientific and social dimensions as well as on improving the dialogue between the scientific community and the general public.
For more information please see: www.bbaw.de
Prof. Dr. Martin Claussen
Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg and
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Phone: +49 40 41173 226