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.


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.


to event calendar
1265Hauser, KIT
Extreme weather events over small catchment areas

Interview with Prof. Dr. Harald Kunstmann on intense precipitation events over small catchment areas. The connection between the position of the precipitation cell, its influence on the runoff calculation and advanced  flood water forecasting. Interview from minute 06:23. Forwarding to ARD media library.

1265Zachmann, KIT
Increase in Vb-weather conditions

Climate change, the increase of Vb-low pressure areas, longer-lasting weather conditions, increase of extreme weather events, higher humidity due to warmer temperatures and the current flood event. Interview with Prof. Dr. Harald Kunstmann from minute 23:26. Forwarding to ARD media library.

1261Andreas Wieser
KITcube receives new Lidar systems for water vapor profiles

Five new DIAL profilers extend the KITcube measuring system with continuous measurements of water vapor profiles in the boundary layer

1258NASA Worldview
Windstorm losses in Europe – What to gain from damage datasets

A combination of different datasets is crucial to obtain a representative picture of windstorm associated impacts.

1256Susanna Mohr
Hail Conference at KIT: Researchers from all over the world meet

A combination of different datasets is crucial to obtain a representative picture of windstorm associated impacts.

1254Guy Pe'er
Biodiversity, land use and climate change

Prof. Dr. Almut Arneth investigates the influence of land use and climate change on terrestrial habitats and the associated biodiversity. Forwarding to