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.

2022_053_Wolken spielten wichtige Rolle in der Klimageschichte_72dpiIMK-TRO
Clouds have played an important role in climate history

Global models show a significant influence of clouds on the evolution of the Earth's climate and the evolutionary conditions of life

2022_044_Klimaforschung_Ultrafeinstaub koennte Wetterextreme verursachen_72dpiBodenbender
Climate Research: Ultrafine Particulate Matter Could Cause Weather Extremes

KIT Researchers Verify Global Increase of Ultrafine Particles from Exhaust Fumes of Fossil Fuels and Warn of Significant Weather Effects

2022_042_Junger Klimaforscher aus dem KIT gewinnt FameLab Deutschland_72 dpiSarah Jonek/Bielefeld Marketing GmbH
Young Climate Researcher from KIT wins FameLab Germany

Christian Scharun convinced both jury and audience with his presentation and won the national final of the science competition

2022_037_Hannover Messe 2022_Digitalisierung und Nachhaltigkeit zusammen gedacht_72dpiMarkus Breig, KIT
Hannover Messe 2022: Digitalization and Sustainability Considered in One Context

KIT Presents Innovative Technology Developments at the Two Main Booths in the "Future Hub" and at "Energy Solutions“

2022_009_Landnutzung-Plaedoyer fuer einen gerechten Artenschutz_72dpiMarkus Breig, KIT
Land Use: Plea for a Fair Protection of Species

A Study with KIT Participation Sheds Light on the Conflict of Goals between Biodiversity and Food Security in Land Use

Environmental Research: Plant Growth in the Anthropocene

In a meta-study, KIT researchers are investigating how plant growth reacts to the anthropogenic greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and ozone in the atmosphere.