Climate Services for eXtremes (CS4eXtremes)
The "Climate Services for eXtremes (CS4eXtremes)" project is funded by the German Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF) and is integral part of the "ClimXtreme" project (Climate Change and Extreme Events), embedded within the research framework for sustainable development (FONA). CS4eXtremes is a joint effort of GERICS and the University Koblenz-Landau.
The main goal is to advance our understanding of the intensity as well as the spatio-temporal distribution of extreme weather and climate events, which are relevant for agriculture and forestry. This includes dry spells, heat waves, strong winds and heavy rain. On the one hand, the possible effects of changes in the occurrence of such extreme weather events as a result of climate change are examined and, on the other hand, strategies for adapting to the resulting challenges in both sectors are developed in order to increase resilience to adverse weather and climate events.
The novel approach of this project takes into account the entire process chain: (i) the sector-specific identification of the characteristics of extreme weather conditions in close cooperation with representatives from forestry and agriculture, (ii) the analysis of past and future weather and climate extremes with state-of-the art analysis techniques, (iii) the investigation of the effects of these extremes by means of forest and agricultural case studies, and (iv) the development of possible needs-based adaptation strategies to future climatic conditions and extreme events based on this information.
In dialogue with relevant stakeholders, CS4eXtremes aims to detect characteristics of climate extremes with a specific impact on agriculture and forestry. Its identification is based on observation data and high-resolution regional climate change projections for the current century.
Furthermore, atmosphere-soil interactions are another key aspect for CS4eXtremes. Their mutual, partly self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms are still poorly understood. The project aims to alleviate this problem using soil sample analysis to provide improved data sets for climate model simulations, e.g. measuring the emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) from agricultural soil.
Forest damage due to wind throw (strong wind events) and hydrological drought (heat waves and dry spells) is the main reason for limited ecosystem performance or ecosystem services, such as the recreational function of the forest for humans. Monitoring damages and understanding their vulnerability to changing climate conditions by means of coupled ecosystem and complex climate models is therefore another aspect of CS4eXtremes. This approach is complemented by empirical methods in which, for example, the view of the population is examined. Due to the recent drought stress-related forest damage in Germany, regional climate model simulations coupled with ecosystem models form a main component of the project.
Overall, a self-reflective approach was chosen for the CS4eXtremes project. This includes a balanced and regular review process to ensure a tailored and demand-driven transdisciplinary course of work, which can readily be adjusted if necessary. Stakeholder engagement and exchange is thereby of particular importance for the project. The results are designed to be transferable on a larger scale beyond the target sectors of forestry and agriculture.
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