Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Division 4 - Natural and Built Environment

The Division 4 'Natural and Built Environment' stands for science and knowledge for society and the environment. Social and natural processes are observed and shaped, in particular the ecological and socio-economic consequences of the earth in change. This division combines research, teaching and innovation of the Institutes of architecture, civil engineering, geo and environmental sciences as well as meteorology and climate sciences and performs synergies. The scientists aim for local, regional and global solutions for a livable, natural and built environment contributing to a sustainable and thus future ready society. Teaching and acadamic affairs of the division are organized in the two KIT departments of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Geo- and Environmental Sciences, and the mission-based large-scale research is managed in Helmholtz programs which are actually "Atmosphere and Climate", "Renewable Energy" and "Energy Efficiency, Resources and Materials". 

Head of Division

Dr.-Ing. Karl-Friedrich Ziegahn
Dipl. Phys.

Short CV


Contact Team Division 4

Science and knowledge for society and the environment


New species extinction target proposed for global nature rescue plan

Scientists Demand Prominent Target to Lower Extinction Rates, Comparable to the 2-degree Climate Target.

Under Extreme Heat and Drought, Trees Hardly Benefit from an Increased CO2 Level

Studies of Aleppo Pines Reveal: The Increase in Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Concentration in the Atmosphere Does Not Compensate the Negative Effect of Climate Change.

Better Prepared for Forest Fires

Cross-institute Project to Understand the Dynamics of Forest Fires and Mitigate the Risk.

2018_16_Kraftwerke erzeugen mehr Ultrafeinstaub als Verkehr - Ausschnitt
Power Plants Produce More Ultrafine Dust than Traffic

KIT Researchers Find that Filtration Systems Are the Biggest Sources of Ultrafine Particles Worldwide and Have Considerable Impacts on Climate.

2019_058_Crowd Oil Kraftstoffe Ausschnitt
Crowd Oil – Fuels From Air-conditioning Systems

Researchers Want to Use Air-conditioning and Ventilation Systems for Decentralized Production of Carbon-neutral Synthetic Fuels – Publication in Nature Communications

2019_091_Ammoniak aus Landwirtschaft kann Wolken ueber Asien beeinflussen
Ammonia from Agriculture Influences Cloud Formation over Asia

Climate Researchers of KIT Solve the Puzzle of a Huge Aerosol Layer in the Atmosphere – Results will Improve Climate Models.


DFG Collaborative Research Center “Waves to Weather” enters 2nd phase

Consortium with Munich and Mainz focuses on deficiencies and challenges of weather prediction with the aim to improve forecast models.

2019_025_Klimaziele von Paris - Ausschnitt
Climate Goals of the Paris Agreement: Impact of Land Use

Researchers at KIT and the University of Edinburgh show that previous measures to reduce global warming through land use change are insufficient.

Environmental Research Station Schneefernerhaus

KIT - Member of the Consortium Schneefernerhaus

Urban Research at KIT

Contributions to sustainable urban development

Wissensplattform „Erde und Umwelt“ Earth System Knowledge Platform (ESKP)

Earth System Knowledge Platform (ESKP)