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Nine research Topics and their project-type Subtopics form the structural backbone of the Program. Topics are designed for high thematic coherence, communicable missions, multidisciplinarity and complementarity across centers.

Topic 1: The Atmosphere in Global Change

Observational and modeling solutions for improved assessments and projections of Air Quality, Climate Feedbacks, Future Weather and Extremes.

Topic 2: Ocean and Cryosphere in Climate

Advance understanding of past, present and future changes of the climate system from an ocean and cryosphere perspective to enhance prognostic capacities from the poles to the tropics, from daily to millennial time scales

Topic 3: Living on a Restless Earth

Towards Forecasting Geohazards. Gain fundamental knowledge of the geological, geophysical, and geochemical processes behind geohazards and contribute to long-term mitigation and short-term forecasting of the most threatening geohazards.

Topic 4: Coastal Transition Zones under Natural and Human Pressure

Assess coastal transition zones as complex human-environment systems of land, sea, atmosphere and people. Development of Multi-use scenarios for resilient social-ecological coastal systems and human livelihood.

Topic 5: Landscapes of the Future

Securing Terrestrial Ecosystems and Freshwater Resources under Natural Dynamics and Global Change. Development of actionable knowledge and societal responses towards multifunctional landscapes. Maintain functioning ecosystems, halt biodiversity loss, and provide fresh water, food and habitable living spaces for humans.

Topic 6: Marine and Polar Life

Sustaining Biodiversity, Biotic Interactions and Biogeochemical Functions. Providing the scientific foundation for a sustainable management of the ocean. Assess options to remedy and mitigate human impacts on marine ecosystems.

Topic 7: Towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy

Resources, Utilization, Engineering and AgroEcosystems. Improve biological and environmental resources for sustainable production. Engineer renewable resources to innovative products. Integrate production into the sustainable use of agro-biogeosystems.

Topic 8: Georesources for the Energy

Transition and a Hightech Society: Conduct research on the supply of safe, clean energy and raw materials. Find new concepts for finding the resources of the future and how to access these in the most sustainable way.

Topic 9: One Healthy Planet

Developing an Exposome Approach to Integrate Human and Environmental Hazard Assessment. Address the challenge of ubiquitous exposure to complex mixtures of chemicals. Deliver mechanistic understanding of disease and adverse ecological outcomes for integrated assessment and prediction.