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A glimpse into the research world of Hamburg’s climate science

A glimpse into the research world of Hamburg’s climate science
Frank von Wieding/Universiät Hamburg

Climate research, shaped by interdisciplinarity and complexity, provides the most up-to-date research topics of our time. How severe is global warming in various future scenarios? What are the consequences likely to be for the Earth system? What adjustment strategies are there to effectively adapt to inevitable climate changes? To what extent do society and industry need to change in order to meet climate agreements and will this be possible? These are just some of the questions that require broad-ranging research.  Hamburg plays a major role in this fascinating world of research, as the location of groundbreaking projects that combine the latest findings and technologies. Here are three examples of such projects.


Scientists around the world are assessing the accuracy of global warming predictions and its consequences. Climate modelling has made significant progress in model resolution. The WarmWorld project is therefore creating a climate model with a resolution of just one kilometre. Most of the previous atmosphere, land and ocean models have a resolution of 100 km. Some processes, such as fissures in sea ice or vortexes in the ocean, can be taken into account at a higher resolution. Clouds and precipitation are also easier to simulate, which in turn improves the forecasting of extreme weather events, such as heavy rain. This research is possible thanks to the performance and architecture of the supercomputers at the German Climate Computing Centre (Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum, DKRZ) in Hamburg. However, Universität Hamburg and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology based in Hamburg are also involved in this project, along with other research institutions.


Another major project, NUKLEUS (usable local climate information for Germany), by the Climate Service Centre Germany (GERICS) in Hamburg and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is dedicated to providing regional climate information for Germany. It summarises various simulations from regional climate models and develops and applies new methods for the analysis and statistical processing of the generated data with regard to the specific requirements of the model regions.  The aim of the project is to develop adaptation strategies; for example, the specification of sewage systems requires the maximum precipitation intensity at a temporal resolution of just a few minutes. Several other regional climate modelling, impact modelling and economic modelling projects are also underway at GERICS.


The Climate, Climatic Change and Society Cluster (CLICCS) at Universität Hamburg, inspired by the 2015 Paris Agreement, goes beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines. It investigates the interactions between climate, the environment and society in order to understand possible and probable future scenarios. From analysing physical tipping points, to examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social transformation, CLICCS provides a broad view of the complex interdependence of nature and humanity.

Brief profile

Combatting the climate crisis undoubtedly represents the most urgent challenge for my generation and those to come. While studying Meteorology at Universität Hamburg, I gained a deeper understanding of atmospheric physics and the changes as a result of climate change. My work with the Cluster Agency is also teaching me more about the political, social and economic aspects of the energy transition. This allows me to combine my scientific curiosity with a pronounced interest in the implementation of solution-based projects.

Climate science in Hamburg

Warm World


New supercomputer ‘Levante’




About Nellie Sommer

Profilbild zu: Nellie Sommer

The tackling of the climate crisis unquestionably poses the most pressing challenge for my generation and those to come. During my meteorology studies at the University of Hamburg, I deepen my understanding of the physics of the atmosphere and its changes in climate change. Through my involvement in the cluster, I also gain insights into the political, societal, and economic aspects related to the energy transition. In this way, I connect my scientific curiosity with a strong interest in implementing solution-oriented projects.