Press Release 004/2010

For an Environment Worth Living in

Opening of the KIT Climate and Environment Center on January 20 – State Minister of the Environment Tanja Gönner Will Speak about Climate Change
Die natürlichen Lebensgrundlagen zu sichern, ist ein Hauptanliegen der Forscherinnen und Forscher am KIT-Zentrum Klima und Umwelt. (Foto: picture alliance/dpa)
Securing the natural bases of life is the main concern of the researchers of the KIT Climate and Environment Center. (Photo: picture alliance/dpa)

Climate and environmental change as well as demographic, economic, and technical developments are changing the living conditions on earth as they did never before. This affects the availability and quality of water, air, and food. Hence, climate and environmental research is facing great challenges. To cope with these challenges, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has established the KIT Climate and Environment Center. On Wednesday, January 20, 2010, an opening event will mark the official start of work.

“At the moment, the focus no longer leis only on eliminating the causes of environmental problems,” explains Professor Christoph Kottmeier, spokesman of the Center, “but increasingly on adapting to modified natural and anthropogenically induced environmental conditions”. To avoid problems, researchers have to concentrate above all on the global aspects. For adaptation, the regional scale is decisive. To gain fundamental knowledge on processes and climatic, ecological, and economic consequences and to develop adaptation strategies on this basis, the KIT Climate and Environment Center is bundling competencies in natural science, engineering, and social sciences. In a multidisciplinary manner, the researchers are developing technologies to secure the natural bases of life under seven topics: atmospheric processes, water resources and water management, processes in the underground, technology-induced material flows, urban systems, risks and risk management, and climate change.

At the Center, 500 employees of KIT from nearly 30 institutes are developing innovative and sustainable technical solutions to cope with the challenges of climate change and environmental change. Work is based on internationally acknowledged competencies in research relating to the atmosphere, terrestric hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and pedosphere (rock mantle of the earth and uppermost layer of this mantle) as well as in the field of technological and socioeconomic systems.

The Center is cooperated with industrial enterprises. Multi-disciplinary cooperative ventures open up new perspectives. It is focused among others on the safe storage of CO2 in deep formations, the development of measurement instruments and methods, on consulting services with respect to the extent of climate change or risk assessment, and on numerical forecast models and efficient software solutions.

Opening of the KIT Climate and Environment Center
Wednesday, January 20, 10 to 17 hrs
Aula, Center for Advanced Technological and Environmental Training, KIT, Campus North (Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen)

10:30 Opening and Welcome Address
Dr. Peter Fritz, Vice President of KIT

10:45 Climate Change and Water in Baden-Wuerttemberg
Tanja Gönner, Minister of the Environment of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg

11:15 The Earth from Space – A Water Planet
Dr. Gerhard Thiele, former science astronaut, Head of the Astronauts Department of the European Astronaut Center of ESA

13:00 KIT Climate and Environment Center
Professor Christoph Kottmeier, KIT

13:15 Scientific Challenges in Hydrology
Professor Günter Blöschl, Technical University of Vienna

13:45 Water Quality – A Problem of the Future?
Professor Fritz Frimmel, KIT

14:45 Water  Resources Management – Technical Solutions: Example Indonesia
Professor Franz Nestmann, KIT

15:15 Climate and Water – Regionally Coupled Models
Dr. Harald Kunstmann, KIT

15:45 Water Resources Management and Society
Professor Jonos J. Bogardi, University of Bonn


Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 10,000 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 22,800 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.

ele, 15.01.2010

Margarete Lehné
Chief Press Officer (acting)
Phone: +49 721 608-41105
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Contact for this press release:

Klaus Rümmele
Presse, Kommunikation und Marketing (PKM)
Phone: +49 721 608-48153
Fax: +49 721 608-45681
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The press release is available as a PDF file.