Earth System Research for our Future
The GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences is the national research centre for Earth sciences.
Research at the GFZ focuses on the geosphere within the highly complex System Earth with its further subsystems,
its interacting subcycles, and its wide network of cause-and-effect chains. This we do in a close interdisciplinary collaboration with the related scientific disciplines physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology as well as with the engineering sciences disciplines of rock mechanics, engineering hydrology and seismology.
Our methodical core competences are:
The future can only be secured by those who understand the System Earth and its interactions with Man:
We develop a profound understanding of systems and processes of the solid Earth together with strategies and
options for action to address global change and its regional impacts, to understand natural hazards and to minimize associated risks, as well as to assess the human impact on System Earth.
Our mission is to assess and understand relevant physical, chemical, and biological processes within the geosphere
and to predict future developments. We integrate methods of Earth-observation with laboratory- and field-experiments,
as well as with modelling approaches.
Thereby, the description of the status quo and its history is of importance and – building on this – the prediction of the future developments within System Earth on a global, regional, and local scale. Defining critical conditions and assessing long-term global and regional changes is of major importance.
The interactions between geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and anthroposphere result in an exceptionally complex overall system. For us at GFZ we deduce the following central scientific questions: