Research Theme 3

Extreme events across temporal and spatial scales


Extreme climatic events can have various and substantial effects on human beings, and play an important part in the evolutionary history of the Earth. Further, they occur on a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, from minutes to millennia. Our goal is to view various extremes in relation to one another and from a long-term perspective by combining climate data, paleo-records and model-based simulations in order to identify, and arrive at a better understanding of, the underlying mechanisms of these extremes and long-term changes in them. Achieving that goal is a key prerequisite for being able to predict the future probability of such extremes occurring.

Key questions for RT3:

  • How temporally and spatially variable are short-term extreme events, how are these aspects changing in response to changing climatic conditions, and what are the driving factors behind this variability?
  • How are extreme events connected to macro-scale changes in ocean-atmosphere circulation and ocean-atmosphere feedback mechanisms?
  • What are the dynamics, causes and effects of the tipping elements that produce critical changes in the climate system?



RT3 Speakers

Dr. Cecile Blanchet
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam
Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
D-14473 Potsdam

Dr. Monica Ionita
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Am Handelshafen 12
27570 Bremerhaven
E-Mail: Monica.Ionita(at)