KIT contributes to the research program "Changing Earth - Sustaining our Future" in the Helmholtz Research Field Earth and Environment.

The atmosphere is the Earth's thin protective layer that shields us from harmful radiation, moderates temperature differences, and redistributes thermal energy, water, and pollutants: Almost all life depends on it. This protective function is maintained by delicate balances and is vulnerable to global changes in climate and land use. The main drivers of climate change are the radiative effects of greenhouse gases and aerosols, which affect the composition and impact of the atmosphere on all aspects of societal activities.

We are developing seamless observational and modeling techniques to unravel the complex interactions of climate change between the atmosphere, land surface, and ocean. As focal areas, we are investigating changes in air quality - globally and in urban areas - the internal causes and effects of climate change through feedbacks, and what kinds of weather and extremes we will need to prepare for in the future. Advances in these areas are paramount for reliably assessing the state of the Earth system and for predicting and projecting global changes on our future living conditions.

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Our research follows a holistic approach: we develop cross-scale observational and modeling solutions for improved atmospheric forecasts and regional climate projections with unprecedented resolution. We strive to observe, understand, and predict atmospheric phenomena and process chains from their origin to climate change impacts in the atmosphere, particularly in their interactions and feedbacks with the land surface, biosphere, cryosphere, oceans, and near-Earth space. Through our work, we can assess the physical, chemical, and socio-ecological consequences of atmospheric change and its impact on climate, extreme weather, and land ecosystem functioning.

In doing so, we increase knowledge to address societal challenges such as global warming, growing world population, land use change, air quality, water availability, and energy and mobility change. Our atmospheric and climate observation and modeling activities provide the scientific basis of sustainable development strategies for the benefit of society, ecosystems, and climate mitigation and adaptation combined with economic risk reduction.

Staubemission-in-Island_Nsikanabasi_Umo_rdax_1200x675Nsikanabasi Umo, KIT
Climate research: Effects of dust from a cold desert

International field campaign investigates emission, transport and composition of dust in Iceland

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2021_074_Biodiversitaet_Landnutzung als Bedrohung und Chance fuer Hummeln_72dpiPenelope Whitehorn, KIT
Biodiversity: Land Use - Threat to and Opportunity for Bumblebees

KIT Researchers Investigate the Effect of Land Use Changes on European Bumblebee Species under a Changing Climate

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Messballons-vor-Abflug_rdax_1200x675Hans Nordmeyer, IMK-ASF/KIT
Atmospheric Research: Balloon Measurement Campaign in Sweden

KIT Researchers and Partners jointly investigate Relationships in the Earth System in High Air Layers

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2021_073_Bessere Vorhersagen fuer Luftqualitaet, Wetter und Klima_72dpiMarkus Neumann
Better Forecasts for Air Quality, Weather, and Climate

Atmospheric research in Germany significantly expanded with ACTRIS-D - KIT extends its capabilities to solve current climate issues

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forschungsflugzeug-HALO_rdax_1200x675Emma Järvinen, KIT
Atmospheric research: Ice clouds warm the Arctic

Scientists use the HALO research aircraft to study the climate impact of cirrus clouds.

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Verwüstung Bad MünstereifelBernd März, Unwetter-Freaks
Flood Risks Were Significantly Underestimated

CEDIM presents report on flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia - Damages could exceed ten billion euros

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