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Climate research in practice

The lec­ture "Mathemat­ical Mod­eling for Cli­mate and Envi­ron­ment" is part of the cur­ricu­lum of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Sci­en­tific Com­puting” at the Uni­versi­ty of Bay­reuth. Here, stu­dents learn the basic phys­ical and math­emat­ical con­cepts of mod­ern cli­mate and envi­ron­men­tal mod­els. A natu­ral con­tinua­tion of the lec­ture was the ex­cur­sion to the Al­fred We­gener Insti­tute (AWI) in Bremerha­ven.

Modern climate models and climate simulation

Arriv­ing at AWI, the stu­dents had the op­por­tunity to learn about dif­ferent cli­mate mod­els through three guest lec­tures. Espe­cially excit­ing was the mod­eling of tsu­namis, where phys­ical and nu­meri­cal as­pects, such as the gen­era­tion of suita­ble grids and the use of ap­pro­priate solu­tion meth­ods were dis­cuss­ed dur­ing the lec­ture. A sub­se­quent tour of the AWI Com­puting Cen­ter showed the stu­dents the high com­puting power re­quirements of mod­ern cli­mate simu­la­tions.

Research under extreme environmental conditions

In order to be able to simu­late cli­matic phe­nomena, it is nec­essary to col­lect a lot of data, some of which has to be ob­tained under ex­treme envi­ron­men­tal condi­tions. For ex­am­ple, AWI re­searchers use spe­cially equipped re­search air­planes to enter ice-covered areas of the Arctic or Ant­arctic. The stu­dents of the Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram “Sci­en­tific Com­puting” were al­lowed to visit one of these air­crafts in the AWI hang­ar. In addi­tion, it was ex­plained which re­search equipment is used or how spe­cial re­search equipment can be mounted on the air­craft.

Experiencing climate at Klimahaus Bremerhaven

The stu­dents were able to find out how di­verse the cli­mate is and what ex­treme envi­ron­men­tal condi­tions are caused by it at Klimahaus Bremerha­ven. On the guid­ed tour through this cli­matic world of expe­rience, dif­ferent coun­tries along the 8th de­gree of longi­tude were passed through. Each sta­tion pro­vided in­sight into the aver­age tem­pera­tures, the cul­ture and way of life of the peo­ple in this re­gion, and the ef­fects of cli­mate change on these parts of the world. Espe­cially this cli­matic inter­action made the visit to Klimahaus Bremerha­ven a high­light for many stu­dents.

Text: Maximilian Bauer, Coordinator of the Elite Graduate Program "Scientific Computing"