Earth observation and the interpretation of data with help of numerical models are two cornerstones of climate change research. The DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics uses Earth observation from satellites, aircraft, and surface to study the atmosphere, weather, and climate. The overall challenges for these aspects have been formulated (with DLR co-authorship) in the ESA Living Planet Programme, in the recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), in the UNEP/WMO Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion (2006), and in the World Weather Research Program THORPEX.
The DLR addresses the major scientific challenges, in particular the interaction of clouds, aerosols and climate as well as climate-chemistry interactions, partly in an agreed cooperation with the Helmholtz programme “Earth and Environment”. From 2009 on the HALO research aircraft will provide a new form of access to these topics for testing and verifying satellite instruments and for atmospheric research in general.