Flagship IMPROVE: Improving robustness of regional assessments

Speakers: Hagen Koch

Team members: Iulii Didovets (guest), Samuel Fournet, Fred Hattermann, Ylva Hauf, Hagen Koch, Valentina Krysanova, Zbyszek Kundzewicz, Stefan Liersch, Anastasia Lobanova, Mikolaj Piniewski (guest), Julia Reinhardt, Christopher Reyer, María del Rocío Rivas López, Sophia Rottmann, Felicitas Suckow, Tobias Vetter, Michel Wortmann


Setting adequate climate stabilization goals and designing appropriate adaptation policies should rely on a sound quantitative understanding of the anticipated impacts of climate change under different emission scenarios and different levels of global warming. For example, a comprehensive assessment of climate impacts is urgently needed within the IPCC process. However, the scientific knowledge about the impacts of climate change still remains fragmentary. Very many studies have been undertaken to investigate climate change impacts for specific sectors and regions. Though these studies are of value in their own right, a quantitative synthesis of climate impacts, including consistent estimates of uncertainties, is missing.

Global assessment of climate change impacts is important to inform the global policy makers, especially regarding mitigation efforts. At the same time, impacts occur and adaptation policies are designed at the regional level, where the global models may be not precise enough. Therefore, to ensure that climate change impact research meets the demands of decision makers at the regional scale for reliable information, projections of climate impacts must be provided at the regional scale, and inter-compared between different models.

Bridging the scales between global and regional impact research and models is needed, and can go in both directions. From a global perspective, hot spots should be identified more consistently at the global level and investigated in more detail by zooming in with the regional modelling tools. From the regional perspective, knowledge should be aggregated from outputs of several models to fill the gaps and increase reliability of global analyses.

Key objectives are:

  •  a quantitative assessment of impacts at different levels of global warming for representative regions worldwide,
  • uncertainty assessment based on the quantification of multi-scenario applications and inter-model variations,
  • introduction and application of impact metrics that allow to integrate and compare impact models within individual sectors,
  • identification of consistent trends agreed by most climate and impact models in a region,
  • supporting the extension of ISI-MIP to the regional scale by organising model intercomparison for water sector at the regional scale.

As a start we intent to include firstly three sectors in the assessment: water, agriculture and forest ecosystems. Other sectors can be included later in accordance with available resources and development of the study.


  • Presentation at the Conference:„Klimafolgen für Deutschland“ 24. September 2012
  • Contributions for the book: Gerstengarbe & Welzer (eds) 2013: „Deutschland 2040: zwei Grad mehr“
  • Modelling results provided for „ClimateImpactOnline CIES project”
  • Contribution to the Regional model intercomparison by simulation of climate impacts in several large river basins in Europe and Africa, in cooperation with iCROSS
  • Contribution to the intercomparison of impact assessment results at the global and regional scale, in cooperation with LPJmL group (GRI cross-cutting activity)
  • Several papers in the planned Special Issue of the Hydrological Sciences Journal

Third party funded projects completely/partly contributing to IMPROVE:

  • CAREC 2: Climate projections and climate risk assessment, funded by CAREG/Worldbank, 01.05.2018-30.06.2019, contact: Anastasia Lobanova
  • CIREG: Climate Information to support integrated Renewable Electricity Generation (CIREG) / Klimainformationen zur integrierten Nutzung erneuerbarer Energien in Westafrika, funded by BMBF, 01.02.2018-31.01.2021, contact: Fred Hattermann / Stefan Liersch
  • H2020 Insurance: Oasis Innovation Hub for Catastrophe Risk Assessment, funded by EU, H2020, SC5-01-2016-2017, 01.05.2017-30.04.2020, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • IMPRESSIONS: IMPacts and Risks from higher-End Scenarios: Strategies for Innovative solutiONS, funded by EU, 01.11.2013-31.10.2018, contact: Valentina Krysanova
  • SIM4NEXUS: Sustainable Integrated Management FOR the NEXUS of water-land-food-energy-climate for a resource-efficient Europe, funded by EU H2020, 01.06.2016-30.05.2020, contact: Frank Wechsung
  • Tourismus: Folgen des Klimawandels für den Tourismus in den deutschen Alpen- und Mittelgebirgsregionen und Küstenregionen sowie auf den Badetourismus und flussbegleitende Tourismusformen, funded by UBA, 01.09.2017-31.07.2020, contat: Fred Hattermann


  • AFROMAISON: Africa at meso-scale: Adaptive and integrated tools and strategies on natural resources management, funded by EU FP7, 01.03.2011-31.05.2014, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • BURUNDI: Verringerung der Auswirkungen des Klimawandels auf die Verfügbarkeit von Wasser- und Bodenressourcen, funded by GIZ, 01.11.2013-30.09.2014, contact: Stefan Liersch
  • DEWFORA: Improved Drought Early Warning and FORecasting to strengthen preparedness and adaptation to droughts in Africa, funded by EU FP7, 01.01.2011-31.12.2013, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • ETHIOPIA: Climate Change and Adaptation in Ethiopia, funded by Auswärtiges Amt, 01.03.2012-31.12.2013, contact: Stefan Liersch
  • GTZ-IMWI: Re-Thinking Water Storage for Climate Change Adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa, funded by BMZ/GIZ, 01.04.2008-31.08.2011, contact: F.-W. Gerstengarbe
  • HABIT-CHANGE: Adaptive management of climate-induced changes of habitat diversity in protected areas, funded by EU, Central Europe Program, INTERREG, 01.03.2010-28.02.2013, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • INNOVATE: Interplay between the multiple use of water reservoirs via inNOVative coupling of substance cycles in Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems, funded by BMBF, 01.01.2012-31.03.2017, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • IMPACT2C: Quantifying projected impacts under 2°C warming, funded by EU FP7, 01.10.2011-30.09.2015, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • LAGOONS: Integrated water resources and coastal zone management in European lagoons in the context of climate change, funded by EU FP7, 01.10.2011-30.09.2014, contact: Valentina Krysanova
  • OASIS: Open Access Catastrophe Model (OASIS) – Contribution of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, funded bei Climate KIC, 01.01.2013-31.12.2014, contact: Fred Hattermann/Jan Volkholz
  • OASIS 2017: Future Danube: Multi-hazard and Risk Model, funded by Climate KIC, 01.01.2017-31.12.2017, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • ORASECOM: Transboundary water management in Southern African Development Community (SADC), GTZ support to phase II of the ORASECOM integrated water resources management plan, funded by BMZ/GTZ, 01.11.2009-31.12.2011, contact: F.-W. Gerstengarbe
  • PSI connect: Policy Science Interactions: connecting science and policy through innovative knowledge brokering, funded by EU FP7, 01.05.2009-30.04.2012, contact: Valentina Krysanova
  • REACCT/CRAFT: Climate Change impact assessment and adaptation options in vulnerable agro-landscape in East Africa, funded by BMZ/GTZ, 01.06.2008-31.12.2011, contact: F.-W. Gerstengarbe
  • SuMaRiO: Sustainable Management of River Oases along the Tarim River / China / Nachhaltige Bewirtschaftung von Flussoasen entlang des Tarim Flusses in China, funded by BMBF, 01.03.2011-29.02.2016, contact: Zbyszek Kundzewicz/Valentina Krysanova
  • TelePATH: Tipping Points of Food Security in linked social-ecological systems of West Africa under Climatic Hazards, funded by BMBF, 01.07.2017-31.05.2018, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • WasserMed: Water Availability and Security in Southern EuRope and the Mediterranean, funded by EU FP7, 01.01.2010-31.12.2012, contact: Fred Hattermann
  • WETwin: Enhancing the role of wetlands in integrated water ressources management for twinned river basins in EU, Africa and South-America in support of EU Water, funded by EU FP7, 01.11.2008 - 31.10.2011, contact: Fred Hattermann


Hattermann F.F., Weiland M., Huang S., Krysanova V. and Kundzewicz Z. W. 2011. Model-Supported Impact Assessment for the Water Sector in Central Germany Under Climate Change—A Case Study. Water Resources Management, DOI: 10.1007/s11269-011-9848-4.

Huang, S., Hattermann, F.F., Krysanova, V., and Bronstert, A., 2012. Projections of impact of climate change on river flood conditions in Germany by combining three different RCMs with a regional hydrological mode. Climatic Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0586-2

Hesse, C., Krysanova, V., Vetter, T., Reinhardt, J., 2013. Comparison of several approaches representing terrestrial and in-stream nutrient retention and decomposition in watershed modelling. Ecological Modelling 269, 70-85, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2013.08.017

Wortmann M., V. Krysanova, Z. Kundzewicz, B. Su, X. Li, 2013. Assessing the Influence of the Merzbacher Lake outburst floods on discharge using the hydrological model SWIM in the Aksu headwaters, Kyrgyzstan/NW China. Hydrological Processes, DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10118.

Krysanova, V., F. Hattermann, Sh. Huang, C. Hesse, T. Vetter, S. Liersch, H. Koch and Z. W. Kundzewicz, 2014. Modelling climate and land use change impacts with SWIM: lessons learnt from multiple applications. Hydrological Sciences Journal, accepted.

Huang, Sh., Krysanova, V., F. Hattermann, 2014. Projections of climate change impacts on flood and drought conditions in Germany using an ensemble of climate change scenarios. Regional Environmental Change, accepted.

Aich, V., S. Liersch, T. Vetter, S. Huang, J. Tecklenburg, P. Hoffmann, H. Koch, S. Fournet, V. Krysanova, E. N. Müller, and F. F. Hattermann, 2014. Comparing impacts of climate change on streamflow in four large African river basins. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, accepted.


  • STAR - STAtistical Regional climate model represents a new statistical method for  regional climate scenarios. The basis for these scenarios are daily meteorological data measured at the stations in the region of interest and trend in temperature for the future, derived e.g. from a GCM-run.
  • CCLM - COSMO-ClimateLimited-areaModelling is a dynamic regional climate model, applicable for studying nonlinear feedback processes. In a new approach, it is applied to generate very-high resolution ensemble simulations for extremes (droughts and floods) under uncertainty with a spatial resolution of about 2.8 km. Temporal resolution is recently between 1 day and 1 hour
  • SWIM - Soil and Water Integrated Model investigates climate and land use change impacts at the regional scale, where the impacts are manifested and adaptation measures take place.The model simulates interlinked processes at the mesoscale such as runoff generation, plant and crop growth, nutrient and carbon cycling, and erosion. It provides numerous model outputs such as river discharge, crop yield, and nutrient concentrations and loads.

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