Climate Office opened for polar regions

AWI provides information on climate change in the polar regions

Arctic ice landscape © Alfred Wegener Institute
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A new climate office for the polar regions was opened on 2 October 2008 in Bremerhaven. It is based at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) and will provide information on climate change in the polar regions for politics, business and society. A particular focus of the work will be sea level rise.

Climate fluctuations are a characteristic feature of geological history. However, the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007 shows, on the one hand, that climate change is progressing extremely fast and, on the other hand, that the warming of the past 50 years is most likely predominantly human. Climate change will vary widely across regions, but nowhere else on earth does the climate change as rapidly as in the polar regions.

First-hand information

Farmers, coastal engineers, city planners, as well as decision-makers from politics and business all need first-hand information in order to be prepared for climate change in their region.

"Because we are researching climate change, land use, water management and related topics in several Helmholtz centers, we see it as our task to provide this knowledge to help people plan their future, " says Professor Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. The Helmholtz Association has therefore decided to set up a Germany-wide network of regional climate offices.

Climate reconstructions based on ice cores provide information about the climate of the past, but also make forecasts for the future possible. Researcher of the Alfred Wegener Institute at Kohnen Station (Antarctica). © Hannes Grobe / Alfred Wegener Institute

Harness the results of climate research

The AWI has unique expertise here. With the establishment of the Climate Office, it intends to make the results of climate-relevant research in the polar regions usable in appropriate and differentiated forms for national and international target groups from politics, industry and society. display

The Climate Change Network of the Helmholtz Association bundles and communicates research results that make the effects of climate change transparent. It acts as an interface between scientific findings and practical implementation in politics, business and society. However, the climate offices also cover the need for information in practice, so that the research priorities of the institutes are more strongly oriented to the needs.

Third climate bar in Germany

The AWI Climate Depart- ment is already the third such facility in Germany - in addition to the North German Climate Laboratory at the GKSS Research Center Geesthacht and the South German Climate Laboratory at the Karlsruhe Research Center.

(idw - Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, 10.10.2008 - DLO)