Research Cluster "Climate Impacts"

The fourth cluster, climate Impacts, will go beyond the geophysical climate effects in the previous cluster and focus on climate impacts on energy and supply chain networks. This cluster is very interdisciplinary by nature and will include climate system science, engineering and economics. Going beyond previous climate impact analysis that traditionally focuses independently on, e.g. agricultural impacts, this cluster will place particular emphasis on the synchronicity of impact events, closely building on insights from the third cluster. Thus, joint effect of multiple events in different regions could be estimated. For example, the Russian drought in 2010 had ramifications beyond national borders by inducing peaks in wheat prices. Linked with the likelihood of similar droughts in other wheat-producing areas, a comprehensive impact assessment would be possible for risk management decisions. Similarly, droughts or changing wind patterns can have ramifications for the operational cycle of power plants. Investigating synchronous events onto the regionally integrated energy supply infrastructure and demand will allow estimating adaption needs more realistically, much beyond the insights that could be gained from separate sectoral or regional analysis. More generally speaking, this fourth cluster investigates the climatic impacts on the global supply network including the energy network. The cluster will compute costs of climate change for society, especially the costs associated with different energy infrastructure. It will further yield information on possible adaptation strategies for the design of a super-regional energy grid.