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The Helmholtz Association comprises 18 research centres participating in six research fields: Energy; Earth and Environment; Health; Aeronautics, Space and Transport; Key Technologies; and Matter. The goal of the Helmholtz Association is to identify and explore the major challenges facing society, science and industry through top-level research. Helmholtz’s annual budget is over €4 billion. The total staff is over 38,000 (2017).

The research field Earth and Environment includes eight Helmholtz Centres focusing on understanding the Earth system and linking the results to society. It conducts research within five programmes which are each further divided into more specific topics (funding period 2014-2018): Geosystem; Marine, Coastal and Polar Systems; Oceans; Atmosphere and Climate; and Terrestrial Environment.

Climate and climate change-related initiatives take place within the research field Earth and Environment. Key initiatives are the Climate Service Center Germany 2.0 and four Regional Climate Offices. Furthermore, nine Helmholtz centres come together in the Regional Climate Change Initiative REKLIM, which has the purpose of improving regional and global climate models. The measuring infrastructure Terrestrial Environmental Observatories (TERENO) with several terrestrial observatories in Germany is another initiative.

Collaborative Programmes

The Helmholtz Association is active in the following ECRA Collaborative Programmes:
1.    Arctic Climate Stability and Change
2.    High impact events and climate change
3.    Sea level change and coastal impacts
4.    Changes in the hydrological cycle


For a complete list of national and international projects that Helmholtz's Earth and Environment research centres are/were involved in, see this link.


Research Vessels:

Monitoring stations:   
Polar station Neumayer Station III
Modular Earth Science Infrastructure (MESI)

Contacts (Earth and Environment)

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Hüttl
Research Field Coordinator Earth and Environment
Chairman of the Board and Scientific Executive Director
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
+49 331 288-1010
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Dr. Cathrin Brüchmann
Research Field Earth and Environment
Helmholtz Association
Phone: +49 30 206329-45
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