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What does modern climate research have to deliver, Klaus Grosfeld?

It’s worth getting involved!

Given record high temperatures and extreme weather events, today climate research is more important than ever. Accordingly, REKLIM Managing Director Klaus Grosfeld feels that the scientific community bears a special responsibility, and is confident the network is well suited to living up to that responsibility.

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Asking important questions

Science has always been and remains an important motor for the advancement of civilisation, but has also often paved the way to finding solutions to essential questions and challenges facing society. In the 21st century, to a considerable extent those questions concern the climate change that we human beings have caused. At REKLIM we produce sound findings that can serve as the basis for informed decisionmaking processes. Finding answers; working to understand climate change, its origins, and its consequences all around us; and developing new approaches and options for tackling it – that is what has driven our research network for the past decade. Together with our highly motivated colleagues from nine Helmholtz Centres, our goal is to thematically expand the network’s scope, so as to ensure its successful development. For us, research means: taking responsibility for the future.


REKLIM’s goal is to investigate and quantify the regional effects of climate change as a response to global warming. Why regional? Because the global change is too abstract. We human beings only perceive climate change’s regional impacts, which directly influence our own lives: no matter whether it’s the farmer directly affected by the increasing dryness, or someone living near the coast, who has to cope with the rising sea level. However, our focus isn’t just on finite geographical areas, but also on producing concretely applicable findings. By doing so, we hope to help improve the accuracy of prognoses for future climate developments, which in turn lead to improved climate protection and effective adaptation measures.

Making contact

In order to do something about climate change and its repercussions, the most important actors from the political, business, social and research communities have to pursue a dialogue. In this regard the climate initiative is successfully engaged in a broad range of activities and formats, and will continue to be in the future. These efforts have fostered an intensive dialogue between the scientific community and society, one that places research at the heart of society and helps translate findings into action. Here REKLIM is exploring innovative avenues, from film projects to information portals. Our main target audience: decisionmakers at national or international public institutes tasked with implementing environmental and climate-related policy, as well as members of the general public with an interest in environmental questions.

Get on board

The German federal government’s goal of reducing emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 can only be achieved through a fundamental transformation of society: a task that poses tremendous economic, political and societal challenges, as the parties involved often pursues their own (and in some cases, diametrically opposed) interests. Given this state of affairs, climate research must provide not only a scientific basis and framework conditions, but also new perspectives and potentials. We have to deliver sound arguments, and especially have to support the youngest generation: it‘s worth getting involved – and supporting the urgently needed societal transformation. Here the network is using a broad range of projects and formats to disseminate the requisite information to society. As such, the goal now is for REKLIM to intensively engage in dialogues with citizens, in political consulting, and in pursuing a lasting change in our society.


In the course of the past ten years, climate research has evolved into a ‘system science’, encompassing the climate and Earth system as a whole. It now represents a highly interdisciplinary and extremely problemoriented science. In this regard, REKLIM has set new standards from the outset. The participating Helmholtz Centres contribute their unique expertise in various branches of climate research, e.g. atmospheric, polar or soil research. Here REKLIM offers an essential ‘melting pot’ for their respective competencies, helping to understand the interplay between individual climate components, and to identify and assess the nature of climate trends. However, new types of collaboration are also called for, e.g. with the social, business and political sciences. REKLIM makes this possible, transcending the borders of individual disciplines and fields of research.