Press Release 06/2007

Disaster Management in Climate Change

The 8th Forum on Natural Disasters at the Universität Karlsruhe is focusing on new risks. Additionally, experts are discussing means of improving the protection of infrastructures and energy and water supply systems.
Fatal effects: The number of floods does not increase, but they entail increasingly worse consequences (Photo: IWG, Andreas Kron)

Dr. Elisabeth Zuber-Knost
Press Officer

Kaiserstraße 12
76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
Phone: +49 721/608-2089
Fax: +49 721/608-3658

In the USA as well as in Mexico, in China or in Central Europe, an increasing number of people is living on decreasing space. Economy and industry conglomerate around megacities, thus forming giant centers. Two developments with a fatal consequence: The effects of earthquakes or floods are increasing worldwide. Scientists, who wish to counteract these impacts, will meet at the 8th Forum on Natural Disasters at the Universität Karlsruhe on October 15 and 16, 2007.

For details, please contact:

Universität Karlsruhe


Phone: +49 721 608-4436


The Forum will be organized by the Deutsches Komitee Katastrophenvorsorge (DKKV, German Committee for Disaster Reduction) and the Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology (CEDIM) that is funded jointly by the Universität Karlsruhe, the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, and the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam.

The Forum’s motto: Disaster Management in Climate Change. It will focus on how the interaction of climate change and increased susceptibility of society will determine our future. Another discussion will deal with the preventative protection of infrastructures, the nervous and circulatory system of our society: Transport and traffic, energy and water supply or communication. A topic covered will be the early detection and warning against the impacts of disasters to reduce the damage in the future. In addition, the experts will discuss urbanization processes that will characterize the coming decades apart from climate change.

Journalists are invited to inform themselves about the major topics of the Forum at a press conference that will be held at 11 a.m. on October 15 in the Senatssaal. In the light of the extreme forest fires in Greece in August this year, the fire ecologist from the Max-Planck Institute for Chemistry, Prof. Johann Georg Goldammer, will highlight relevant aspects of disaster precautions in e.g. environmental policy and probable consequences of the fires, such as soil erosion. Dr. Irmgard Schwaetzer (President of the DKKV and retired Federal Minister) will outline political implications. In addition, Prof. Dr. Friedemann Wenzel, spokesman of CEDIM, and Prof. Dr. Lothar Stempniewski, member of the board of cedim AG, will be pleased to answer questions.

In a public presentation on Monday, October 15, 8 p.m., in the Tulla lecture hall, Prof. Goldammer will ask the question: “Climate change and fire: Can the forests on earth be saved?” In a critical analysis of worldwide forest fires and forest combustion, Goldammer will focus on the growing degradation of forests and other vegetation by increasing land use worldwide, on the excessive use of fire as well as on the rising number of uncontrolled megafires in the world. In his opinion, the fires in Greece reflect deep socio-economic changes and political failures. However, he also considers their uncontrollability to be due to the extreme heat and drought of the summer. From his point of view, this is only a small part of a development that has been escalating since the end of the 20th century.

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) represents the merger of the Universität Karlsruhe with the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe. Altogether, it has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 600 million Euros. In the KIT, both partners are bundling their scientific competences and capacities, establishing optimum research structures, and developing joint strategies and visions.

The KIT will be an institution of internationally excellent research and lecturing in natural and engineering sciences. KIT shall attract the best experts from all over the world, set new standards in lecturing and promotion of young scientists, and establish the leading European center in the field of energy research. KIT will assume a leading role in nanosciences worldwide. It is the objective of KIT to be one of the most important cooperation partners of industry.

October 4, 2007


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
presseBmd1∂kit edu

Contact for this press release:

Universität Karlsruhe; CEDIM Tel.: +49 721 608-4436