The Cluster of Excellence “Climate, Climatic Change, and Society” (CLICCS) will:
1. Develop assessments of which climate futures are possible and which are plausible, based on our understanding of both climate and social dynamics.
2. Identify the social prerequisites for the deep decarbonization required to reach the Paris climate targets, by incorporating the heterogeneous preferences of actors and disruptive events in social systems, frequently occurring unrelated to the climate system.
3. Construct self-consistent scenarios of future climate that incorporate the latest process-based knowledge of natural climate variability and social dynamics, that are consistent with the feedback processes in the natural and human–environment systems, and that take into account the actual dynamics of governance structures.
4. Construct case studies of sustainable adaptation scenarios that take into account the reality of competing social goals and potential trade-offs, while being consistent with knowledge of physical and social dynamics.
5. Account for how the irreducible (aleatoric) uncertainty arising from internal climate variability, including extreme events, affects climate–socio-economic interactions and decision-making processes.
6. Synthesize, through the publication of an annual Hamburg Climate Futures Outlook, the research results both within CLICCS and outside of it, contributing to the assessment of what future co-developments of climate change and society are possible and plausible.
7. Develop effective stakeholder dialogs by closely linking our own practice with the scientific reflection of their social foundations.