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Course paper / final thesis

Impact of contrail formation on clouds and climate in northern high latitudes

Starting date


Duration of contract

6 months


According to the German TVöD 5

Type of employment


"Cutting-edge research requires excellent minds – particularly more females – at all levels. Launch your mission with us and send in your application now!" Prof. Pascale Ehrenfreund - Chair of the DLR Executive Board

Aviation emissions impact climate significantly with a large part of this impact stemming from non-CO2 emissions. Cloud changes due to contrail formation are the largest known component of the aviation climate impact. The probability of contrail formation, the properties of young contrails and their life cycle are spatially and temporally very variable making it difficult to include them in emission trading systems. Whereas at high latitudes air traffic always leads to contrail formation as long as air is moist enough, the increase in the ice water path of the resulting contrails and therefore their climate impact is limited due to the low specific humidity in the upper troposphere at high latitudes.

Your master project will focus on contrail induced cloudiness in high northern latitudes. You will simulate the impact of contrail formation on upper tropospheric cloudiness within a climate model using an existing contrail cirrus parameterization and a flight inventory for Scandinavia and analyze the simulations. The work is embedded in a Norwegian research project on the impact of air traffic on climate and its mitigation.

Your qualifications:

  • studies in the field of meteorology or similar
  • programming skills
  • good knowledge of written and spoken English and/or German
  • basic knowledge in the area of climate change and cloud physics is an advantage

Your benefits:

Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our unique infrastructure offers you a working environment in which you have unparalled scope to develop your creative ideas and accomplish your professional objectives. Our human resources policy places great value on a healthy family and work-life-balance as well as equal opportunities for persons of all genders (m/f/non-binary). Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

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Technical contact

Dr. Ulrike Burkhardt
Institute of Atmospheric Physics

Phone: +49 8153 28-2561

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Vacancy 49878

HR department Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR site Oberpfaffenhofen

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DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics

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