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Institute for Energy and Climate Research

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Role of the UTS in Climate Change

The upper troposphere and stratosphere (UTS for short) is an important factor in the climate system. Particularly in the tropopause, even minor changes in components relevant for radiation, such as water, ozone, and cirrus clouds, cause significant changes in radiative forcing.

IEK-7 studies processes such as the microphysics of clouds in the UTS on local, regional and finally global scales, and also the distribution of climate-relevant trace substances in this altitude region. This involves a combination of aircraft measurements with high-resolution in situ instruments, remote sensing techniques on the ground, on aircraft and on satellites, laboratory experiments as well as simulations on several scales. Analysis stretches from the tropics and the mid-latitudes to the polar regions.


Selected research activities include:

  1. Water Vapour Budget in the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere
  2. Clouds in the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere
  3. Exchange Between Troposphere and Stratosphere in the Asian Monsoon Region
  4. Hazards of Geoengineering

    high ice clouds and low cumulihigh ice clouds and low cumuli above Aracatuba, Brazil, during an airplane measuring campaign with IEK-7 participation


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