Our working group deals with interactions of chemical and physical processes in our Earth System on different temporal and spatial scales. For these studies we develop comprehensive models with a focus on atmospheric research, and conduct simulations to provide answers for current topics on environmental and climate problems.
We investigate in detail the role of clouds and convection in the atmosphere. A focus in this research is the question how clouds affect atmospheric chemistry, but also how clouds are affected by multiphase chemical processes. A central point is the role of aerosol particles (and their chemical composition) for cloud formation and cloud properties.
A further key aspect are effects of atmospheric chemistry on the dynamics of the atmosphere and the global climate of the Earth System. Our research mostly is related to the troposphere with extension into the UTLS (upper troposphere - lower stratosphere) region.
Main tool for our research is the Modular Earth Submodel System (MESSy), which is linked with the global climate model ECHAM5 (called EMAC) and the weather forecast model COSMO (called MECO(n)). We are including additional components and processes in the Earth System to conduct holistic simulations for climate and environmental research.
Nevertheless, we also apply other models within specific projects, e.g. the ATHAM model for volcanic eruptions and degassing or the cloud models SAM and CM1 for studies on clouds and convection.
The animation from a global simulations shows the impact of lightning on upper tropospheric aerosol nitrate with the isosurfaces depicting up to 60% relative differences compared to a simulation without emissions of NOx from lightning calculated with the EMAC model.