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Earth Sciences and Climate


Gorup Leader: Martin Mergili

The aim of the working group Cascade is to contribute to a better understanding of geomorphological process relationships and the relevant human-environment-interactions in mountain areas, and thereby to improve the basis for an adequate handling of the corresponding chances and risks. This requires the combination of a broad variety of competencies and methods. Particular emphasis is also put on the transfer of knowledge and skills to learners of different levels.


Laufende Projekte:


CC-MoRe - Climate Change in Mountain Regions

Group Leader: Wolfgang Schöner

Mountain regions account for only about a quarter of the Earth's land surface, still they influence the vast majority of the planet. In a climatological sense, mountains strongly alternate and influence the radiation budged, the atmospheric circulation and the hydrological cycle, thus acting as a sensitive indicator for changes in the climate system at various scales. To enhance our knowledge of the peculiarity of mountain climates (i.e. high mountain and polar regions), we combine in-situ observations with state-of-the-art modelling. This allows a quantification of drivers, impacts and processes of climate change in mountain regions. Hence, we aim at contributing to improved assessments of future environmental changes related to the great challenges of global climate change.


On-going Projects:


Collaboration in national and international programs and networks:

Water and Climate Change

Group Leader: Steffen Birk

The replenishment of groundwater resources by the percolation of infiltrating rainfall (or snow melt), i.e. groundwater recharge, is governed by processes at or close to the land surface, closely related to specific weather events and influenced by direct or indirect impacts of climate change. An improved understanding of future changes in rainfall distribution/intensity as well as vegetation and land use (in particular, with regard to plant/crop water demand) therefore is essential for improved projection of hydrological processes such as groundwater recharge, flooding, etc. The availability of groundwater resources depends not only on the replenishment rate, but also on the management of water resources and thus on socio-economic changes (e.g. increased water demand due to a change from rain-fed to irrigated agriculture). In addition, these changes pose important challenges for groundwater-dependent ecosystems that can only be addressed by interdisciplinary research. Research on hydrology therefore makes an important contribution to a better understanding of both ecological and socio-economic changes caused by climate change.


On-going Projects:

Completed Projects:


MMag. Dr.phil.

Harald Stelzer

Research Manager

Research Management & -services
Elisabethstraße 27/II
A- 8010 Graz

Phone:+43 316 380 - 1295

Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr.rer.nat.

Gottfried Kirchengast


Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change
Brandhofgasse 5/I
A-8010 Graz

Phone:+43 316 380 - 8431

Univ.-Prof. Dr.phil.

Lukas Meyer


Institute of Philosophy
Attemsgasse 25/II
A-8010 Graz

Phone:+43 316 380 - 2300

Assoz. Prof. Mag. Dr.rer.soc.oec.

Birgit Bednar-Friedl


Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre

Phone:+43 316 380 - 7107, 8446

Univ.-Prof. Dr.

Bettina Weber


Institut für Biologie

Phone:+43 316 380 - 5694

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