Cross-Cutting Activities (distinguished as “Collaboration across Research Fields” CARFs and “Cross Topic Acitivities” CTAs) serve the overall objectives of the Helmholtz Association to bridge Research Fields, to promote thematic profiling and networking in the Research Fields and to strengthen and organize links with the German scientific community.
The Helmholtz climate initiative REKLIM is a research network of competence-driven modules. REKLIM produces and disseminates regional climate change information for societal use. REKLIM addresses the complete chain from knowledge generation to action, enabling civil society to better approach climate mitigation and adaptation from the grassroots. www.reklim.de/en
The Initiative focuses on the two main clusters Net Zero 2050 (mitigation) and Adapting to Extreme Events (adaptation). As part of 13 research projects in total, Helmholtz scientists are working towards advancing their climate research. They will actively cooperate even more closely to systemically research climate change, as climate change has many causes and affects many areas of our lives. www.helmholtz-klima.de/en
The overall objective is to mitigate urban climate change risks and increase the adaptive capacities and resilience of urban areas. Based on extensive studies carried out e.g., in Leipzig, Istanbul, Dar es Salaam, and Santiago de Chile, specific objectives are the development of proposals that i) enable urban spaces to cope with multi-hazards and climate risks, ii) provide healthy environments for their inhabitants; and iii) develop novel technological and system solutions for infrastructure management.
To strengthen the field of remote sensing within Helmholtz across Programs, and to advance the observation-based integrated analysis of the Earth-Atmosphere system, this CARF will establish a collaboration with the RF Aeronautics, Space and Transport (DLR) in the field of remote sensing of the atmosphere and the Earth’s surface by satellite-borne and airborne instruments, incl. the research aircraft HALO, as well as ground-based sensors.
‘Geoenergy’ focuses on the deep underground as a source of and storage site for thermal energy. It includes storage in saline aquifers as well as heat recovery from greater depths for space heating, or even for process heat and power conversion. The collaboration will also combine subsurface use with the design of surface energy infrastructure and demand.
MACE strives to synthesise results of environmental and human health research to support solution-oriented risk assessment and management of novel entities, which are chemicals and other types of materials of anthropogenic origin, including (micro)plastic and man-made particles. Major objectives are to develop and apply indicators of exposure to chemicals, plastic and other novel entities. These will enable an inventory of the overall risk from chemical mixtures and complex exposures in the context of human biomonitoring and pollution monitoring and thus contribute to the protection of humans and the environment. We inspire outside-the-box-thinking by providing a platform to build coherent conceptual frameworks across Topics and Research Fields, to cooperate in case studies and to coordinate generation of guidance documents.
Making efficient use of next-generation HPC systems requires fundamental changes in software paradigms and workflows in numerical model and data analysis applications. JL-ExaESM will bring together leading groups from the RFs Key Technologies/Information, E&E, and Aeronautics, Space and Transport to explore novel IT hardware and software concepts for modeling and to enable future integrated high-resolution simulations on exascale computing systems.
The development of a sustainable future depends on the development of sustainable resource use and circular economy approaches for food, feed, materials, chemicals (bioeconomy), which requires tight interaction with the energy sector. Therefore, we integrate
- sustainable production of (plant) raw materials, their modification for use as feedstock for processing and product development including sustainable design as integral elements and processes to establish circular economy
- sustainable value chains/ networks and their orientation towards products integrated in systemic concepts using hybrid approaches by e.g. biochemical, (bio)electrochemical, catalytic, thermo- and/or photochemical processes and their combination in biorefineries;
- circular economy approaches integrating production and provision of materials in the circular application and recovery of renewable carbons for the different use and conversion pathways.
- spatially explicit renewable energy, biomass and material flow scenarios and assessments.
- sustainability systems analysis and innovation for technology and knowledge transfer and implementation
The aim is to provide a holistic scientific view on the safety of nuclear repository systems and to quantify their close-to-reality evolution with regard to physical, chemical and microbiological processes. Specific objectives comprise the development of experimental and modeling capabilities for upscaling related multi-physical and biogeochemical processes from lab to field scales and establishing seamless workflows for safety/performance analysis/assessment including data science methods, respectively.
The aim of the Helmholtz Future Project ARCHES is the development of heterogeneous, autonomous and interconnected robotic systems in a consortium of the Helmholtz centers DLR, AWI, GEOMAR and KIT. The future fields of application span from the environmental monitoring of the oceans over technical crisis intervention to the exploration of the solar system. Objectives are to develop approaches that allow robots to acquire, analyze, and interpret measured data autonomously. www.arches-projekt.de/en/project-arches/
MOSES is a new observing system developed by the RF E&E. It comprises highly flexible and mobile observation modules which are specifically designed to unravel the impact of short-term events on the long-term development of Earth and environmental systems. The main objective is to capture events from their origin to their fading with high-resolution observations.
The objective of TERENO is to assess the impact of climate change on the terrestrial system (from atmosphere down to groundwater) through integrated observation, new experimental methodologies, and integrated models. TERENO consists of four terrestrial observatories that represent typical landscapes in Germany and Central Europe, which are considered to be highly vulnerable to the effects of global and climate change.
The overall objective of ESM is to develop and apply innovative Earth system modeling capacity that enables the scientific community to contribute to solving some of the grand challenges humanity is facing. More specific scientific objectives include i) improvements in the representation of key processes in models, ii) establishment of a coordinated approach towards coupling Earth system model compartments, and include new compartments, iii) development of common data assimilation capacity, and iv) coordination of simulations in support of the whole Program (so-called ‘frontier simulations’). A strategic objective is the development of a long-term modeling strategy, including harmonization of modeling activities within Helmholtz.
The objectives of Digital Earth (DE) are threefold, i) to guide data acquisition through better and faster analyses of field and model data including predictions in space and time (Smart Monitoring), ii) to advance capabilities and competences with respect to visual and computational data analyses and synthesis (Data Exploration), and iii) to establish structures for sustainable collaboration among the centersand external experts in data science to spread knowledge, reduce redundancies and enable sustainable development in data science. Challenges within DE are given through the large amount of data from the different Earth compartments, their different temporal and spatial resolution, data formats as well as data volume.
Extreme events related to atmospheric, geospheric, geological or oceanic disturbances pose a potential threat to societies, their assets and the environment. Given the statistical properties of extreme value distributions, weather and climate extremes are expected to increase disproportionately in the future, along with further upward shifts, e.g., in mean temperature, ocean acidification, or oxygen deficiency. Moreover, societies are becoming increasingly vulnerable as a result of growing globalization and urbanization, the increasing dependence and degree of penetration of critical infrastructures, and the concentration of assets in hazard-exposed regions.
The Research Field Earth and Environment DataHub
The Research Field (RF) Earth and Environment measures and models the properties of the Earth system to understand past and future changes. Thus, it already holds a wealth of data and, in addition, the amount of data is growing rapidly. To make (and keep) this data FAIR the research data management in the RF is consolidated in the DataHub. The DataHub distributed information infrastructure – is part of the wider digitalisation strategy of the RF and Helmholtz in general and also an offer to the NFDI and NFDI4Earth in particular. Thus, new research – based on FAIR data and open science – is enabled in the wider Earth system science community and beyond, including linkages to health, economy, energy, etc. to tackle together grand societal challenges.