Programme Atmosphere and Climate (ATMO)

PT1. Cloud and weather research

In Programme Topic 1, we investigate cloud and precipitation processes, and weather systems.
Rainbow clouds with UV content above lake Constance in Southern Germany;; Photo T. Greis

Photo: T. Gries

Clouds play a crucial role in the radiative budget of the atmosphere. However, their susceptability to anthropogenic influences and their feedback on climate change are the largest source of uncertainty in our ability to predict future climate (AR4 2007 and SREX 2012 of the IPCC).

The multitude of interacting processes in clouds and weather systems makes it particularly difficult to assess and predict their role in high impact weather and as dynamic agents in the changing climate system.




Our research focuses on

  • clouds in a perturbed (natural and anthropogenic) atmosphere
  • prediction of (high impact) weather
  • regionalized climate modelling
  • risk assessments

Our aim is to assess and reduce the uncertainty associated with changes in the water cycle in many regions.

Therefore we apply a systematic approach that includes

  • international field experiments
  • laboratory studies and
  • regional ensemble modeling of weather and climate



IR-chamber with peripheral devices © T. Leisner

Photo: T. Leisner

ST1. Clouds ina perturbed atmosphere.

We aim at reducing the currently large uncertainties in the assessment of aerosol - cloud and precipitation interactions. Our research is based on modeling (e.g. with COSMO-Art), experiments in the AIDA cloud chamber as well as single particle experiments in the laboratory.

Contributing institutes:

Hailstones; Photo: B. Muehr; KIT

Photo: B. Muehr

ST2. Process research for multiscale predictability of weather and climate and their impacts.

We perform extensive field studies on convective and synoptic scale processes, expanding the cloud-aerosol studies of Subtopic 1 to larger scales and to tropospheric dynamics and land surface processes. Our work lays the ground for better weather prediction and climate projection/predictions and impact assessments.

Contributing institutes: