Marine Climate Research
Marine climate research comprises oceanographic and geoscientific studies, for instance, for better understanding of the role oceans play in the climate system today and in the past, for a description of the effects of climatic variations as a basis for preventive and protective measures and for models for forecasts of future developments.
The oceans cover approximately 70 percent of the Earth's surface and thus play a central role in the climatic development. Powered by the sun as the decisive input for the Earth's radiation budget, the natural climate system is an interplay of many processes which, in part, have not yet been completely identified.
However, there is no doubt that the climate and its long-term changes are determined to a considerable extent by interactions between oceans and the atmosphere. Within the context of marine research, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports, above all, the marine aspects of climate research.
Although there has been considerable progress in marine and climate research in recent years, the role of the oceans in the climate system is still largely unclear. What is still an open question is what effects climate changes can have on the oceanic processes and how they influence the climate system, respectively.
International programs, as e.g. the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), in which Germany is involved both institutionally and with third-party funded projects, are presently concentrating on studying and forecasting variations of the global climate system. The main objective of marine research is the determination of the role oceans play in the perennial and longer-term variability and the realistic assessment of the hazard potential due to drastic climate changes. Currently, the international efforts are aimed at the understanding of decadal variations of the system "Ocean" in the light of the mutual influencing of cryosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere.
Within the context of project funding, the BMBF supports projects with regional focus on current climate-relevant research aspects in the North Atlantic. With this, Germany contributes, inter alia, to the WCRP mentioned above.
These scientific studies are mainly carried out by universities and non-university research institutions. Funding occurs by way of non-repayable grants.