Cluster of Excellence "The Future Ocean"

Understanding the ocean — sustaining our future

The ocean. It covers more than two thirds of our planet. Even so, we know more about the surface of the moon than about the depths of the seas. This, in spite of the fact that mankind's future lies in the world's seas. They will determine the climate of tomorrow across the entire globe – and are already suffering from the advance of global warming. New raw materials and energy sources can be found on the seafloor – how can we exploit them? Many marine organisms may harbour the secrets to cures for diseases – if they are still around tomorrow.


These are just some of the ideas that the Kiel cluster "The Future Ocean" is investigating. The aim: to increase our understanding of ocean change and its associated potentials and risks in order to enter into a new symbiotic relationship between humans and the sea. In "The Future Ocean", experts from diverse specialist areas are combining their expertise: For example, lawyers and geoscientists are investigating questions on how and who has the right to exploit resources on the seafloor. Climatologists and economists are working on the question of what conditions make CO2 storage on the seafloor a relevant option. Marine scientists, medical researchers, mathematicians, chemists, engineers and social scientists are dedicating themselves to further questions.

The network partners include six faculties and 26 institutes at Kiel University, as well as the GEOMAR | Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the Muthesius University of Fine Arts and Design.

The Cluster of Excellence “The Future Ocean” is supported within the framework of the “excellence initiative” of the German Research Foundation (DFG) on behalf of the German government and the federal states of Germany.

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Research Topics