Cluster of Excellence, CliSAP
Early success in the excellence strategy
Even before the launch of CLICCS, the climate researchers at the Universität Hamburg were successful in the Excellence Strategy of the German federal and state governments: From 2007 to 2018, the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded the Cluster of Excellence "Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction" (CliSAP). The Cluster was a joint initiative by the University of Hamburg together with the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, the Institute of Coastal Research at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht and the German Climate Computing Center.
More than 350 people…
…have contributed to the Cluster of Excellence “Integrated Climate System Analysis and Prediction” (CliSAP) from 2007 to 2018:
- 300 Participating Researchers,
- roughly 30 members of staff in the Science Service and at the Office,
- and 17 members of the international External Advisory Board.
- 120 Ph.D. candidates have also successfully completed their studies in the SICSS Doctoral Program.
Our heartfelt thanks go to you all – for your ideas, your commitment, your creativity and your scientific curiosity! Some members of staff are now engaged in CliSAP’s successor project, the Cluster of Excellence CLICCS. Others are active in other projects at the national and international level.
Natural sciences and humanities: A vital alliance
How fast is the Arctic sea ice really melting? Will the Gulf Stream continue to bring sufficient warmth to Europe? How will our global economies and societies be impacted by climate change? What conflicts over land, water, and other resources can be expected?
Global change poses questions reaching far beyond the scope of individual academic disciplines. Thus, CliSAP was aimed to cross academic boundaries—with great success. Our scientists from key research areas of meteorology, oceanography, geophysics, and ecology had worked in unison with social scientists, economists, media experts, and peace researchers. The cluster’s primary focus was on climate variability and predictability; in particular, regional variations and the interaction between climatic change, economic, and social factors.
Research is a basis for climate chance governance
Complex computational models helped CliSAP’s researchers predict the potential ramifications of climate change. Important variables are the human influence on the climate, potential areas of conflict induced by climatic change, and approaches to communicating future Earth system changes. CliSAP strived to contribute to climate risk management, e.g., by providing policymakers with reasonable recommendations for advancing climate change adaptations.
Climate change and its impacts are politically charged issues. Discussions thereof tend to be emotional and partly guided by interests. Therefore, it is all the more important to continue reporting on scientific discoveries and breakthroughs in a reliable, objective, and responsible manner. At CliSAP, all media and communications efforts were geared towards this goal. CliSAP pursued this goal through continuous press and public relations work - following the approach of the "honest broker", i.e. the honest intermediary between science and the public.
Milestone for university climate research
CliSAP was an important milestone for university climate research - and for Hamburg: As early as the 1970s, the first coupled atmosphere-ocean models were developed in the Hanseatic city - to this day the core of many international climate calculations and the basis for the IPCC world climate report. Hamburg scientists are regularly involved as authors in the IPCC reports, and with Prof. Klaus Hasselmann, climate research on the Elbe now even has a Nobel Prize winner in its ranks.