Information and data platforms are a core element of knowledge transfer and make it possible to reach a diverse range of user groups. They gather scientifically sound information on a given topic, suitably prepare it for users in a specific target group by adapting the depth and level of detail, and subsequently provide it to the members of said group, making it much easier for them to find the information they need. Further, platforms include interactive elements, allowing users to ask questions and share their feedback.
The platforms associated with REKLIM...
- significantly contribute to the dialogue process between the scientific community and society at large;
- offer information and data on a broad range of topics, tailored to the user’s specific needs;
- are continually refined to better meet user needs and on the basis of user feedback;
- are designed as open portals, and are available to new collaborative partners;
- allow societally relevant research findings to be precisely integrated into informational, educational and decision-making processes.
North German Climate Monitor
The internet platform ‘North German Climate Monitor’, which was jointly developed by the North German Climate Office at the HZG and by the regional climate office of Germany’s National Meteorological Service (DWD) in Hamburg, offers information on how the climate of North Germany has changed since 1951. The ’North German Climate Monitor’ is the first-ever source to comprehensively analyse and interactively display the climate of North Germany for a 60-year timeframe (1951-2010). To do so, it draws on regularly updated data from stations in the DWD’s monitoring grid, reading-based surface datasets, and reanalyses from the HZG’s coastDat dataset for North Germany. For the ‘North German Climate Monitor’, not only key climate components like air temperature, precipitation and wind, but also derived parameters like the number of summer days, days with heavy precipitation and stormy days were analysed.
With the help of regional climate scenarios, past climate developments can be compared. Using this method, users can determine whether the changes they observe are due to natural variations or might instead be the result of anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions.
North German Climate Atlas
With the ‘North German Climate Atlas’, the North German Climate Office provides essential information regarding the current state of research on potential future climate changes in North Germany. Designed to be interactive, the Atlas is based on more than 120 regional climate scenarios contributed by various research projects.
The ‘Regional Climate Atlas’ for Germany provides valuable information regarding the current state of research on potential future climate changes in Germany. The ‘Regional Climate Atlas’ draws on regional climate scenarios contributed by various research institutes, which are subsequently collated for Germany and analysed at the national and regional scale. Designed to be interactive, the main goal of the ‘Regional Climate Atlas’ is to provide answers to users’ questions. It is currently based on more than 120 regional climate scenarios produced by various research projects.
Coastal Protection Requirements
Interactive maps on coastal protection requirements show which regions of Germany’s North Sea and Baltic Sea coastlines are currently protected from storm surges by coastal defence measures. In addition, they show which additional areas will most likely require similar protection by the end of the 21st century – by which time the rising sea level and changed wind regimes could produce major storm surges like the North Sea flood of 16/17 February 1962, but with waves that reach up to 1.1 metre higher.
Drought is a common phenomenon in Germany, and not just since the 2003 heat wave. The hardest-hit sectors are often agriculture, forestry, and water management. In 2015, negative impacts were reported in various parts of Germany: both in connection with forestry, in the form of costly fire surveillance flights in Bavaria, and in diminished crop yields for winter grains in Bavaria and Central Germany alike. For many years, comprehensive information on soil moisture wasn’t available. In response, the Climate Office for Central Germany developed the ’Drought Monitor’, which provides information on the status quo in Germany, updated daily. In addition, the ‘Drought Monitor’ uses weather data to prepare high-resolution calculations of soil moisture and statistically compare them with long-term simulations dating back to 1950. Lastly, it provides a drought classification, so as to show the likelihood of plants suffering drought-related damage.
Climate change is especially affecting the polar regions, producing major changes in sea ice, which is home to a unique ecosystem. The website meereisportal.de is the first-ever portal in Germany to provide a central source of scientific findings on all aspects of sea ice, offering information for all levels of society in varying degrees of detail and depth.
The platform is based on three main pillars: background information on changes in sea-ice extent and their causes; expert information; and an extensive cartographic and data archive. The platform is intended to promote exchanges the scientific community and society at large, and in so doing to support the public debate on climate change.
The information platform ’meereisportal.de’ was among the 100 winners of the nationwide competition ’Outstanding Sites in the Land of Ideas’ in 2015, which recognised projects addressing ’City, Country, and Grid: Innovations for a Digital World’.
’Your Climate’ App
As climate change progresses, cities are especially at risk. At the same time, cities offer a broad range of opportunities to practise climate protection, and to effectively adapt to climate change. And Karlsruhe, with a population of nearly 300,000 and situated in the warm Upper Rhine Graben, is no exception. As such, it’s worth taking a closer look at examples of how the city is concretely responding to the effects of climate change. With the brochure ’Your Perspective on the Climate’ and accompanying app ’Your Climate’, the South German Climate Office at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology showcases locations in Karlsruhe that are relevant for the city’s climate – including a forest near the edge of the city, a zero net energy house, and a tram that monitors the air quality. The list of selected locations is intended to help users see the city from a new perspective, and to help them learn a bit about climatological interrelations. As a result, the places they see on their way to work in the morning, or during a Sunday stroll, could take on a new, palpable climatological meaning.