Topic 7: Risk analysis and risk management for integrated climate strategies

(UFZ, HZG, KIT, Europa-Universität Viadrina, University Hamburg)

The key questions addressed of topic 7 are:

How to deal with extremes events and uncertainty under climate change? What risks are related to regional climate change and climate variability and how can they be assessed? How can climate communication be improved based on the analysis of regional and cultural factors? What role does and should science play in supporting decision-makers on the regional level to address, communicate and negotiate climate related risks? How do regional and cultural factors influence public perception of climate change and climate related risks? How can mitigation and adaptation conceptually be connected and used to fill the gap between international and regional climate negotiations?

The social and economic analysis of integrated climate change strategies still holds large theoretical and methodological research gaps and considerable uncertainties as there are many different interdependencies between mitigation and adaptation and social, economic and natural factors which require thorough analysis and assessment. Climate change mitigation and adaptation can relate to each other through synergies or conflicts, and they must be coherently connected to other environmental, social and economic policies. Policies are social discourses, based on negotiation processes, which are culturally embedded. Cultural perception research and the analysis of negotiation processes, which are not least shaped by the media, are of great significance in this context as they are main drivers of and for the public perception of climate change. Studies of risk perception and awareness and policy coherence are important conditions for consistent adaptation and mitigation strategies. The investigation of economic and scientific approaches must therefore be merged with socio-cultural analyses in global and regional contexts. For this to be done, topic 7 explores the following key research issues:

  • Analysis of the public perception of climate change and natural hazards on a regional scale
  •  Development of a regional and integrated flood risk management
  •  Integrated risk assessment and improvement of communication strategies for local risk management and adaptation strategies in urban areas
  •  Methodological and theoretical synthesis for developing tools for a regionally grounded adaptation to climate change
  • Analysis of the negotiation of adaptation and mitigation policies in international negotiations

Further information on Topic 7:

New EU-Report "Science for Disaster Risk Management 2017"
Reimund Schwarze (UFZ) participated in the report "Science for Disaster Risk Management 2017: knowing better and losing less". The 500 pages report, to which more than 200 leading European scientists have contributed, documents the state of the art in EU disaster risk reduction research. He was author in the section “Recording disaster losses for improving risk modelling".

New Hamburg climate assessment – Knowledge about climate, climate change and impacts of climate change in Hamburg and Northern Germany (Eds. H. von Storch, I. Meinke, M. Claußen, Springer 2017) (in German)
The 2nd climate assessment for the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg is an initiative by the Cluster of Excellence CliSAP (Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction) which brings together more than 70 experts to show the state of scientific knowledge about regional climate, regional climate change and regional impact of climate change. Beate Ratter contributed to the report on „Perceptions of climate change in the Metropolitan Region of Hamburg“. She demonstrates that the issue of climate change, while very prominent in the general perception of the citizens of the region, is associated with extreme weather events more than with changes in flood risks or sea level rise.


New EEA report 15/2017 ”Climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in Europe”
Update-Report to improve the indicator “Damages from weather and climate related events” of the European Topic Center / Climate Change Adaptation (ETC/CCA) of the European Environment Agency (EEA). Reimund Schwarze (UFZ) provided support for the preparation of the new 2017 EEA report on Climate Change Adaptation/ Disaster Risk Reduction (CCA/DRR) and helped establish the Core Team and the Advisory Group of the 2017 EEA CCA/DRR report and participated in the meetings.


Contributions of Topic 7 to research in REKLIM:

REKLIM-Report September 2017 (PDF):

  • Cross-cutting research: „The social framing of  regional and local weather-extremes in Germany“ (in German)

Forschungsthema des Monats November 2016 (PDF)

  • Climate summit in Marocco: In need of concrete measures for mitigation and adaptation (in German)
  • People-powered local energy transition: Mitigating climate change with commuity-based renewable energy in North Frisia (in German)

Forschungsthema des Monats Mai 2014 (PDF)

  • Cost of natural hazards
  • Total cost minimization approach of ConHaz
  • Development and future research of REKLIM topic 7 and 10 in the upcoming funding period (in German)


Contact Topic 7

Prof. Dr. Reimund Schwarze
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ)
Permoserstraße 15
04318 Leipzig
E-Mail: reimund.schwarze(at)

Prof. Dr. Beate Ratter
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht
Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung
Max-Planck-Strasse 1
D-21502 Geesthacht
E-mail: beate.ratter(at)