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Our Research Program 2021-2027

Topic 1 "The Atmosphere in Global Change"│GFZ-Participation

The atmosphere safeguards the Earth from harmful radiation, regulates temperature differences and circulates thermal energy, water and pollutants: almost all life depends on this delicate protective layer. We monitor atmospheric phenomena and processes from their origin up to their impacts on climate change in order to better understand and predict trends. The focus: research on air quality, on feedback effects in the climate system and on future weather and extreme events.

The main goal of Topic 1 is to gain a better understanding of the role of the atmosphere in the climate system. To this end, the five Helmholtz Centres AWI, FZJ, GFZ, hereon and KIT study atmospheric processes by means of sophisticated measurements, laboratory investigations and numerical modelling. The GFZ contribution to Topic 1 focuses, in particular, on the following aspects:

  • development and improvement of atmospheric remote sensing techniques, based on the usage of ground- and satellite-based data from Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS)
  • operational application of these techniques with newly developed data products to improve the day-by-day regional and global forecasts of national and international weather centers
  • contribution to the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to monitor long-term atmospheric changes with GNSS atmospheric data, validated with observations using the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI)
  • development of innovative GNSS based methods for monitoring the Earth's surface using reflected signals to derive, e.g., wind speed or precipitation over oceans and soil moisture, vegetation and snow cover over land
  • quantification of the impact of vertical coupling between atmospheric layers (e.g., from the troposphere to the thermosphere and ionosphere) by waves and tides on the structure and dynamics of the upper atmosphere and ionosphere, and possible feedback mechanisms to lower layers
  • investigation of the impact of energetic particles from the Earth's magnetosphere on the upper-atmospheric chemistry and climate including studies on the dynamic evolution of the particles
  • investigation of worst-case scenarios and risk statements for flooding in Germany under current and future climate


Further information: Link to T1│Karlsruher Institut für Technologie


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