Starting in 1975 as a small MPI with one director of (Klaus Hasselmann) and one director at (Hans Hinzpeter), our institute is now among the leading Earth system modelling centres worldwide and also adds new observations for the improvement of models. When I started as a group leader in 6/1976 the scientists and technicians of the institute occupied less than 2 floors in Geomatikum, in close cooperation with the Meteorological Institute of the University of Hamburg. Now we can look back to many early achievements, here mentioning only very few: First coupled atmosphere/ocean/land-model in Europe, first global satellite-based energy flux climatology at the ocean surface, detection of the anthropogenic climate signal. I will also include the stories about the structural changes (foundation of the German Climate Computing Centre in Hamburg) and the threat to close the institute at the turn of the century.
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