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03.08.2017 | Timing of floods shifts and reveals climate change impact

Climate change is abstract, however, weather events like extreme rainfalls that cause floods are very real. How are they connected? An international multi-author study led by the University of Vienna and with the participation of the GFZ now demonstrates for the first time that an observable link between climate change and floods exists on continental scale. The results are now published in the scientific journal Science.


21.07.2017 | Ancient Saharan dust reveals new insights into the history of the desert

The Sahara is the largest dry desert of the world and therewith the globally most intense producer of dust. This dust fertilizes the oceans and has an impact on climate evolution and terrestrial ecosystems. An international team of scientists led by the University of Leipzig and with the participation of the GFZ now reconstructed the evolutionary history of the Sahara based on dust sediments from a Moroccan lake.


20.07.2017 | Weighing changes in the water storage of landscapes

System Earth is highly complex. It consists of multiple interconnected cycles. Measuring the balance of energy and mass fluxes in the environment is therefore a highly demanding task in sciences. Researchers from the GFZ section Hydrology, together with colleagues from the Senate of the City of Berlin, the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy, and the University of Potsdam now showed that they are able to “weigh” the balance of water.


18.07.2017 | Highest rating for climate research and data project AtmoSat by German Science Council

AtmoSat aims at investigating the impact of chemical and physical processes in the middle atmosphere between five and hundred kilometres on regional and global climates. The joint operation of the Karlsruher Instituts für Technologie (KIT) and the Forschungszentrums Jülich (FZJ), with the participation of the GFZ, combines a satellite observation system and a related data infrastructure. The project now received the highest rating by a committee of the German Science Council. The Science Council advises the German Government on the development of science and research.


04.07.2017 | „Blank spots“ on the map – Research cooperation on mining landscapes

In cartography, each type of landscape is assigned to a symbol. Like this, woodlands, settlements, or swamplands for example are easily identified. The new research cluster „Signaturen stark gestörter Landschaften – am Fallbeispiel von Bergbaulandschaften“ at the Zentrum für Nachhaltige Landschaftsentwicklung (ZfNL) at the Brandenburgisch Technische Universität Cottbus-Senftenberg BTU assumes that there are still „blank spots“ on the map: Mining landscapes and other heavily disturbed landscapes. Within the next three years the cluster, with the participation of the GFZ, aims at investigating the characteristics of these landscapes and at establishing a specific symbol for cartography.


27.06.2017 | Microbes in the desert – A new archive for climate science

Under extreme climatic conditions only few “witnesses” of past environmental conditions endure. Pollen, for example, serving as indicators for the composition of the vegetation of ancient times, are only conserved under very specific conditions. Under an extremely dry climate such as prevailing in the Kalahari in South Africa, climate archives comprising pollen or other climate “witnesses” are especially scarce. Scientists from the GFZ sections Geomicrobiology and Organic Geochemistry, together with a colleague from the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany, were searching for previously not exploited climate archives.


12.06.2017 | Tracing ocean warming by electromagnetic signals

The Ocean works as a gigantic heat sink and thereby is an important factor in mitigating global warming. Since warming water expands, warming oceans cause a rise in sea-level. This poses a significant risk to coastal areas. Existing methods of global temperature monitoring only detected changes in surface temperatures. Changes in the Ocean’s interior remain widely hidden. GFZ scientists from section Earth System Modelling now developed a method that allows for monitoring temperature changes in the Ocean’s interior. Their study, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, was now distinguished as a “research spotlight” by the news platform EOS of the American Geophysical Union AGU. Like this, EOS honors “the best accepted articles” that were published in an AGU journal.

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