BIOACID – Biologische Auswirkungen der Ozeanversauerung

Seit Beginn der Industrialisierung haben die Weltmeere knapp die Hälfte des Kohlendioxids (CO2) aus der Verbrennung fossiler Energieträger aufgenommen. Die Aufnahme von CO2 trägt zu einer Absenkung des pH-Wertes bei. Das Meer wird saurer.

Die bisherigen Phasen des BIOACID-Projektes (Phase I und II) haben bereits wesentlich zu einem besseren Verständnis der biologischen Auswirkungen von Ozeanversauerung auf marine Organismen und Ökosysteme beigetragen. Außerdem konnten potentiellen ökonomischen Auswirkungen nachgewiesen werden. In der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung spielt das Konzept "Ozeanversauerung" und die Herausforderungen die sich daraus ergeben, verglichen mit den Konzepten von "Klimawandel" und "Erderwärmung", bislang eine noch eher untergeordnete Rolle. Die Unterstützung der Gesellschaft für Klimaschutzmaßnahmen (z.B., Öko-Steuern, Kraftfahrzeugsteurern etc.) hängt jedoch stark von der öffentlichen Wahrnehmung des Klimawandels und dessen Folgen ab. Die Bereitstellung von Informationen, sowie die Art und Weise wie diese Informationen bereitgestellt werden, spielt dabei eine wesentliche Rolle.

Ziel der dritten Phase von BIOACID ist es daher i) die öffentliche Wahrnehmung und den Wissensstand in Deutschland zum Thema Ozeanversauerung zu analysieren, und (ii), herausfinden wie kontextabhängige Informationen die öffentliche Wahrnehmung und Akzeptanz von Klimaschutzpolitik beeinflussen. Die Daten für die Analyse werden in einer repräsentativen Befragung erhoben.

Read more on the BOIACID project homepage

ACCEPT – What determines people’s willingness to accept new climate change mitigation options? (Mar 2012-Feb 2015)

Combating climate change poses a major challenge to governments, industry and society. Since international negotiations on emission reduction agreements have had limited success so far, governments have started considering, among other things, new options that may help mitigating climate change. Carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS) and climate engineering (CE) are such options. Before testing or implementing any of these instruments, costs and benefits as well as the associated risks need to be evaluated. However, even if some options were found suitable, another crucial element for actual implementation would be public acceptance and people’s willingness to accept (WTA) these measures. People’s assessment and therefore their WTA any or all of these new climate change mitigation options is crucially influenced by their beliefs and emotions, by their risk perception and trust in institutions as well as by their risk aversion and ambiguity aversion.

The project intends to broaden the scientific knowledge of the issue by obtaining comprehensive empirical evidence on the determinants of people’s WTA and to close an existing research gap focusing on Germany. Such information is essential for designing an optimal portfolio of mitigation options. The research is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

Read more on the ACCEPT project homepage



ACCESS - Arctic Climate Change, Economy and Society  (Mar 2011-Feb 2015)


With ongoing climate change the Arctic Ocean changes. Rising temperatures lead to receding sea ice, with severe implications not only for the ecosystem itself, but also for accessibility to human activity. Growing interest in the Arctic Ocean as shipping route, fishing ground and resource hold imply both grand opportunities and threatening risks, affecting the social and economic environment of Arctic communities, littoral states and beyond. Naturally, the stress on the ecosystem Arctic Ocean is going to increase. 

It is the task of the ACCESS-project to evaluate the social and economic implications of a change in the accessibility of the Arctic Ocean, point out the according risks and provide an assessment of the inherent trade-offs. The task of our research group is to evaluate the implications of an increased production of hydrocarbons in the Arctic Ocean. Together with partners from various disciplines we study the economic costs, environmental risks, implications for world markets and sustainability of off-shore energy production from the Arctic. ACCESS is part of the “Ocean of Tomorrow” call within the European Union’s seventh Framework Program for Research and Technological Development. The project consortium consists of 27 partners from ten European Countries.

Read more on the ACCESS project homepage

URBES- Urban Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Jan 2012-Dec 2014)

Today, cities are facing enormous challenges resulting from global change, e.g. in the climate system. Ecosystems provide flexibility in urban landscapes and help build adaptive capacity to cope with such challenges as, for example, the increased risk of heat waves and flooding. However, systematic knowledge about the links between urban biodiversity, ecosystem services and human well-being is still largely missing. Moreover, urban ecosystem services are generally not priced on markets and thus usually under-provided by market forces. In order to reconcile the sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services in urban areas with an ever growing demand for land use, the ecological, socio-cultural and monetary values of ecosystem services need to be fully incorporated into decision making processes.

The aim of the URBES project is to (1) analyze the role of urban biodiversity and ecosystem services for human well-being, (2) to quantify and value their contribution to human well-being, and (3) to give policy advice for sustainable long-term urban land-use management. An innovative aspect of URBES is that it is the first project to apply the TEEB approach to urban environments, and that it uses both monetary and non-monetary valuation to assess urban biodiversity and ecosystem services. The research project is funded by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). URBES is part of the BiodivERsA initiative within the European Union’s 7th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (FP7-ERA-NET).

Read more on the URBES project homepage.