Climate change with its risks and opportunities poses major challenges to society. Many of the related policy and business decisions made today will have a profound impact on our future economy and lifestyle. However, decision makers often lack the necessary expertise to include the climate dimension in their decision-making process. The Climate Service Center (CSC) addresses this issue and provides stakeholders in the public and private sectors with policy options. It disseminates high-quality data and information resulting from scientific research and presents them in a customised, easily accessible and immediately usable way. The initial focus of the Center is on sustainable land and forestry management, food, infrastructure (water, energy and transport), insurance, civil protection and security issues. CSC was established by the German Federal Government as an important contribution to its High-Tech Strategy on Climate Protection. It is part of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht. CSC's work is supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Determination of stakeholder's needs
CSC's primary objective is to provide science-based data and authoritative information to decision makers and to respond to specific enquiries. The information is often sector-specific and always tailored to customer needs. CSC initiates development projects and produces climate simulations in order to provide relevant expert answers to climate-change-related questions. An important CSC project addresses the risks associated with heavy precipitation events. Since the frequency of occurrence of heavy rainfall and associated flooding risks is expected to increase with climate change, this project addresses an important issue for the insurance sector. It will provide a better understanding of the relationships between heavy precipitation events and insurances losses and assess additional risks under a changing climate. Publicly accessible products resulting from this project will be maps of future heavy precipitation in Germany at high spatial resolution.
Working within a climate research network
The Hamburg-based CSC works within a network of universities and research institutions, including, among others, the Helmholtz Association's network of regional climate offices, the KomPass "Competence Center on Global Warming and Adaptation" at the German Federal Office for Environment (UBA) and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). CSC facilitates cooperation within this network, organises expert workshops and collaborates with other international groups that investigate climate change. The study on heavy precipitation risks mentioned above is a prime example of the close cooperation of CSC with stakeholders in the private sector.