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Selected recent research topics of the working group “Dynamics of Regional Climate Systems”

1. Analysis of uncertainties in climate change for the Baltic Sea region as revealed by the latest IPCC models (Coupled Model Intercomparson Project phase 6)

This master thesis utilizes the latest results of the Coupled Model Comparison project phase 6 which constitutes the base for the latest IPCC report recently published ( The climate models will be investigated to quantify the spread of model projections for the particular region of the Baltic Sea and neighboring land areas (as far as to the Baltic hydrological catchment and beyond). Main tasks could be

  • Identification of uncertainties and their attribution in transient climate simulation
  • Exploring specific uncertainty for various climate indices (climate extremes, mean climate, droughts hazardous precipitation etc) on the basis of daily, monthly, and seasonal time series



2. Analysis of cold spells to the Baltic Sea region and their relation to sea ice, coastal upwelling, and cold air intrusions from the Arctic.

Prolonged periods of extraordinary cold air or seawater can be an important regulator of ecosystem dynamics (e.g. prevention pests) on land and in the sea. Using high resolution hindcast simulations and projections for the future this thesis will investigate the physical drivers of cold spells in both the ocean, as well as the atmosphere with focus on the Baltic Sea region.  Main tasks could include

  • detection of cold spells in high resolution climate model outputs
  • Investigation of the main physical drivers
  • relationship to global climate warming in different climate scenarios.

Cold spell in brief (plain language):


3. Analysis of the Gulf Stream on climate variability of the Baltic Sea region

Current trends of sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic indicate a cooling in the sub-polar region paralleled by anomalous warming in the Gulf Stream region. The his dipole pattern is an indicative fingerprint of global warming and it influences heat and moisture transports towards Europe. This thesis will explore the influence of North Atlantic climate variability on the Baltic Sea regions and how this interacts with global warming. Main tasks could include

  • Using indices (e.g. Gulf Stream index etx ) to detect teleconnections between the Atlantic Ocean and the climate in the Baltic Sea region in CMIP6 earth system models
  • Determine the timing of strongest cooling in current CMIP6 earth system models within the next ~80 years
  • Investigate the North Atlantic influence on the thermal state of the Baltic Seaon seasonal to multidecadal time scales

The three thesis offer the opportunity to work with exactly the open access climate data which serve as the basis for the recent and the previous IPCC reports (e.g. The results will will be related to ongoing international activities which aim at understanding the consequences of global warming on the Baltic Sea region. For thesis programming skills (e.g. python) are needed or a strong interest to learn.