On Saturday, 9 September 2017, the Bavarian Minister of the Environment and Consumer Protection, Ms Ulrike Scharf, a member of the state parliament, formally opened this year’s Climate Week in the historic Munich Residence and afterward at the Streetlife Festival on nearby Odeonsplatz.
In her speech Minister Scharf explained that the Bavarian state government also supports the research activities at the Bavarian Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station (UFS) on the Zugspitze mountain, as one component of an extensive pact involving climate protection measures.
For many years the German Aerospace Center has been actively committed to training the next generation of scientists at UFS through a variety of activities including measurement campaigns. Since 2004 DFD has been measuring atmospheric airglow operationally in cooperation with the Chair of Remote Sensing at Augsburg University. The temperature measurements that have been collected to date at altitudes around 87 kilometres comprise one of the longest consistent time series worldwide, and in combination with comparable measurements they even make it possible to investigate climate-relevant changes. The data are part of the resources of the international "Network for Detection of Mesospheric Change, NDMC", which is coordinated by DFD. They are updated daily and available from DFD’s World Data Center for Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere WDC-RSAT.
At a podium discussion taking place at the Munich Residence after Minister Scharf’s address, the science coordinator of the Schneefernerhaus Environmental Research Station, Professor Michael Bittner, DFD, described the Virtual Alpine Observatory, VAO, an international programme initiated and led by Bavaria. Its strategy for the coming decades was recently presented in Brussels. VAO is a union of numerous research institutions, observatories, data centres and computer centres in the alpine region. Following their motto, “Joining forces instead of duplicating efforts” participants from all the countries in the alpine region and also from associated countries are striving to better monitor, understand and predict the influence of climate change on this highly complex part of the Earth system. In addition to its specialist activities, DFD is participating in the establishment of an Alpine Environmental Data Analysis Center, AlpEnDAC, which provides not only access to data, their visualisation and aggregation (“data on demand”), but also to numeric models (“computing on demand”) and services, and is working on innovative concepts to remotely control measurement instruments (“operating on demand”). In particular, VAO is to be involved in the future alpine strategy of the European Space Agency, ESA, and in the next Research Framework Programme of the European Union.