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New Collaborative Research Centre 1502 "Regional Climate Change" in the ABC/J region

Regional climate change: the role of land use and water management

DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) is funding new Collaborative Research Center (SFB 1502) at the University of Bonn.

© GeoverbundDie Sprecher des neuen SFB1502: Prof. Silke Hüttel (Uni Bonn, Co-Sprecherin, l.i.B.), Prof. Jürgen Kusche (Uni Bonn, Sprecher, m.i.B.), Prof. Harry Vereecken (Forschungszentrum Jülich, Co-Sprecher, r.i.B.)
Copyright: Geoverbund

Man-made climate change has already increased the frequency of extreme events such as heat waves, droughts and heavy precipitation - experts predict a continuation of this trend for the rest of the 21st century. "The consequences of this, for example drying out soils in some regions and increasing flooding in others, threaten the coexistence and existence of future generations," says Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kusche from the Institute of Geodesy and Geoinformation at the University of Bonn, speaker of the new Collaborative Research Centre. "They pose significant risks, including to sustainable agricultural production and thus to food supplies."

The far-reaching influence of climate gases, especially CO2 and methane, on the global climate is undisputed. In the Collaborative Research Centre 1502 "Regional Climate Change: The Role of Land Use and Water Management," the researchers investigate the hypothesis that human-induced land use change and intensified water management also influence regional climate - leading to unintended changes in the natural regional water and energy cycle. The hypothesis to be investigated in the CRC even goes so far as to suggest that such changes have already contributed significantly to the observed trends in the regional water cycle.

To investigate this hypothesis further, researchers from a wide range of disciplines come together - including hydrology, meteorology, geodesy, earth system modeling, remote sensing, agricultural economics and social sciences. Together, they aim to develop a model system that will be able to map, in particular, those human-climate interactions associated with changes in the continental hydrological cycle.

The project groups of the CRC will initially focus on Europe in the first, four-year funding phase. The goal is to develop a coupled model system that will map not only the dynamics of the individual components of the Earth system, but also their interactions with each other, and will serve in particular to quantify human-induced influences on the natural regional water cycle. "Our research results achieved in the CRC will serve as a basis for the development of criteria for sustainable land and water use, in terms of the regional climate," Jürgen Kusche emphasizes.

Other partners include Forschungszentrum Jülich, Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD) and the Universities of Cologne and Göttingen.

The Collaborative Research Centre is thematically embedded in the Transdisciplinary Research Areas "Modeling" and "Sustainable Futures" of the University of Bonn.

Funding amount: almost 10 million euros

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kusche, Chair of Astronomical, Physical and Mathematical Geodesy; Institute for Geodesy and Geoinformation (IGG), University of Bonn

Prof. Dr. Silke Hüttel, Chair of Production Economics, Institute of Food and Resource Economics (ILR), University of Bonn
Prof. Dr. Harry Vereecken, Institute for Bio- and Geosciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich