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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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Water Vapour and Clouds

The radiative budget of the earth is particularly sensitive to changes in the cloud cover in the tropopause. In this altitude region, cirrus clouds, which consist of ice crystals, are predominant. Since cirri influence the radiative balance of the atmosphere, the process of cirrus ice particle formation is currently being explored. New findings on cirrus cloud formation are obtained by researchers of IEK-7 and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in laboratory measurement campaigns in the Karlsruhe AIDA aerosol chamber. In these campaigns, scientists from IEK-7 measure water vapour supersaturation during ice formation using the FISH measuring instrument. In addition, an airborne measuring instrument (AIS) is currently being developed, with which aerosol and ice particles in cirrus clouds can be collected simultaneously in order to subsequently analyse the volatile and non-volatile constituents of the two components in the laboratory. This new measuring system will in future be used for national and international projects.

The work programme "Water Vapour and Clouds" includes:

  • Developing high-resolution hygrometers for in situ measurements in the stratosphere and upper troposphere
  • Characterizing hygrometers in the laboratory and quality assurance
  • Planning, coordinating and performing measurements, usually in international cooperations using aircraft
  • Evaluating and scientifically analysing the measured data and publishing them; cooperation with the Theory working group for model support

Our team:

Dr. Martina Krämer
Anja Costa
Dr. Christian Rolf
Nicole Spelten

supported by the technical staff and engineers of IEK-7:

Armin Afchine
Jochen Barthel
Reimar Bauer
Axel Schönfeld
Vicheith Tan