Research Theme 6

Land surface and its feedback mechanisms


Variations in land surface greatly contribute to regional differences in how climate change manifests. At the same time, climate-related effects on land surface are of critical importance, since they impact the most important ecosystem services and human wellbeing. This research topic pursues a cross-compartment modelling approach that reflects current feedback mechanisms and allows regional mass and energy balances to be calculated. Doing so will require the combination of various temporal and spatial scales, in terms of monitoring and modelling alike, as well as the regular exchange of data and information within the research field. Extensive, multidisciplinary observational data like that gathered e.g. in MOSES, TERENO or at the Global Change Experimental Facility will be essential to the development and application of these models, just as the further refinement of modelling systems in ESM will be.

Key questions for RT6:

  • How will future changes influence interactions between the land surface and atmospheric boundary layer?
  • What impacts can we expect to see in connection with water, energy and material flows?
  • What ecological and socioeconomic effects will there be?

Contact RT6

Prof Dr Hans Peter Schmid
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung
Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU)
Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19
82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen
E-mail: HaPe.Schmid(at)

Dr Andreas Marx
Department Hydrosystemmodellierung
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ)
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig
E-mail: Andreas.Marx(at)

Dr Birgit Heim
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
Telegrafenberg A43
D-14473 Potsdam
E-mail: Birgit.Heim(at)

Prof Dr Torsten Sachs
Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam
Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
14473 Potsdam