Cluster of Excellence Climate, Climatic Change, and Society (CLICCS)
The program aims to understand climate changes, taking into account internal variability, extreme events, and unexpected side effects, addressing the natural and social spheres as well as their interactions. Thus CLICCS’ overarching research question is: Which climate futures are possible and which are plausible?
The 2015 Paris agreement provides a powerful impetus not only for climate policy but also for climate research. The research challenges resulting can only be tackled in a program spanning the range from basic research on climate and social dynamics to the transdisciplinary exploration of human-environment interactions – exactly the CLICCS vision.
Enabler for Decision Makers
Based on extensive experience in interdisciplinary climate research, CLICCS will identify plausible climate futures on all scales – ranging from global to local. This competence is key to provide the information needed by decision makers for planning a sustainable future, including the ability to cope with surprises in the climate system.
A central synthesis project will distill results on possible and plausible futures within CLICCS and worldwide into an annual ‘Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook’. Knowledge transfer will be accomplished jointly with the GERICS Climate Service Center.
CLICCS will investigate how climate changes and how society changes with it, thereby feeding back on climate. It will identify those climate futures that are consistent with both climate and social dynamics (possible), and those we expect to unfold with appreciable probability (plausible).
The program will use observations and models of the natural, coupled human–environment, and social systems to understand the processes governing these systems, and to formulate adaptation and mitigation strategies. The scientific objectives will be achieved through three intertwined research themes:
A – provides the natural basis for understanding climate system dynamics, including climate variability and extremes, the climate change already unfolding, and the climate change expected for the future.
B – investigates the climate-related dynamics of social systems and provides the social science foundation for the construction of plausible climate scenarios, with a specific emphasis on deep decarbonization.
C – focuses on coupled human–environment dynamics on a regional level, where climate change becomes visible and where sustainable adaptation can be realized by local actors.
The themes combine the research of 14 dedicated projects. Support will be given through ‘High-Performance Computing and Data-Intensive Science’.
CLICCS is run by the Center for Earth System Research and Sustainability (CEN) at Universität Hamburg in close cooperation with the:
- Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M)
- Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Centre for Materials and Coastal Research (HZG)
- German Climate Computing Center
Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD)
Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute
Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH)
GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies
HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU)
Helmut Schmidt University (HSU)
Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at Universität Hamburg (IFSH)
Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH)