Bernd Kärcher has been working at the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics since 1997 and has been an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Physics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich since 2006. He has headed a number of cross-sectoral DLR projects on aviation and the climate. His main focus is the physics of clouds.
His research work makes a significant contribution to identifying the key physical and chemical processes involved in the formation of natural ice clouds (cirrus clouds), analysing their interplay in detail and modelling them in cloud systems. Some processes also play a role in the formation and development of contrail cirrus. The improved scientific understanding of these processes helps to identify the cloud-related climate effects of air transport using airborne measurements or remote sensing methods and represent them in climate models.