Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) Priority Programme
Tropical Climate Variability and Coral Reefs
A Past to Future Perspective on Current Rates of Change at Ultra-High Resolution
Coordinator: Thomas Felis, MARUM, University of Bremen
Programme Committee: Miriam Pfeiffer, CAU – Kiel University
In May 2020, the Senate of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) established the Priority Programme „Tropical Climate Variability and Coral Reefs – A Past to Future Perspective on Current Rates of Change at Ultra-High Resolution“ (SPP 2299). The programme is designed to run for six years. The present call invited proposals for the first three-year funding period. The funded projects are expected to start in late 2021/early 2022.
The strongly interdisciplinary Priority Programme will bring together the expertise of the German science community in the fields of climate, environmental and ecosystem research in a sustainable manner, and will benefit from participation of researchers from various institutions (Universities, Helmholtz Centres, Max-Planck Institutes, Leibniz Centres and Institutes).
Aims and Scope
Climate change, in particular the rise in tropical sea surface temperatures, is the greatest threat to coral reef ecosystems today and causes climatic extremes affecting the livelihood of tropical societies. Assessing how future warming will change coral reef ecosystems and tropical climate variability is therefore of extreme urgency.
Ultra-high resolution coral geochemistry provides a tool to understand the temporal response of corals and coral reefs to ongoing climate and environmental change, to reconstruct past tropical climate and environmental variability and to use these data in conjunction with advanced statistical methods, earth system modelling and observed ecosystem responses for improved projections of future changes in tropical climate and coral reef ecosystems.
The Priority Programme aims to enhance our current understanding of tropical marine climate variability and its impact on coral reef ecosystems in a warming world, by quantifying climatic and environmental changes during both the ongoing warming and past warm periods on timescales relevant for society.
The programme aims to provide an ultra-high resolution past to future perspective on current rates of change to project how tropical marine climate variability and coral reef ecosystems will change in a warming world.
The Priority Programme is organised around three major research topics in order to fuel interdisciplinary collaboration among various disciplines and to successfully address the overall scientific objectives:
- Large-scale ocean, climate & environment reconstructions
- Coral & reef-scale response to current environmental stress
- Climate, reef & proxy modelling – Climate & proxy advanced statistics
For details on research questions, key variables and methods of the three research topics, see the proposal to establish this Priority Programme, available from the coordinator.