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Institute of Atmospheric Physics
Affiliation: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Prof. Dr. Markus Rapp
Head of the Institute
Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre
The Institute of Atmospheric Physics investigates the physics and chemistry of the global atmosphere from the Earth's surface up to the upper boundary of the middle atmosphere at about 120 km height. As an institute of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) we answer questions associated with atmospheric processes and with relevance to the research programmes "Aeronautics, Space, and Transportation" and "Energy" of the Helmholtz Association (HGF).
DLR's Falcon research aircraft deployed in Malaysia
Favoured by severe weather conditions during the rainy season and the large-scale circulation of air masses in the western Pacific, short-lived natural chlorinated and brominated compounds compounds may be able to reach the stratosphere, and thus have an impact on the ozone layer. Particularly strong sources of these compounds are thought to exist in the tropical western Pacific. But the role of these natural halogen compounds in ozone depletion is largely unexplored. Answers are expected from the European-Malaysian project SHIVA (Stratospheric ozone: Halogen Impacts in a Varying Atmosphere) in which the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics participates.
DLR receives a contract for vulcanic ash flights with Falcon from the Volcanic Ash Advisory Center
The recent eruption of the Icelandic volcano Grimsvötn has again elucidated that airborne measurements of the volcanic ash concentration are important for the validation of forecasts of ash transport into the European airspace. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) of the UK Met Office has charged DLR with respective measurements using the Falcon aircraft in case of any further eruption of Grimsvötn.
Contributions to Improve the Precipitation Forecast over Low-mountains
To conclude the international field experiment COPS (Convective and Orograpically-induced Precipitation Study) in June-August 2007 a special issue of the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society has appeared. The Institute was involved with the POLDIRAD radar and the combination of water vapour and wind lidars on the Falcon research aircraft in this experiment.
Climate impact of contrail cirrus assessed
Aircraft contrails and the clouds that form from them cause a warming of the atmosphere, but until now the magnitude of the radiative impact from all contrail cirrus could only partly be estimated. In a paper published in Nature Climate Change, a global climate model is used to simulate the effect that so-called spreading contrails have on natural cloudiness and climate. This study suggests that contrail cirrus clouds are the single largest climate-forcing agent associated with aviation. Currently the climate is more strongly influenced by contrail cirrus clouds than by all the aircraft-emitted carbon dioxide that has accumulated in the atmosphere since the start of aviation. The findings are important because they provide the first estimate of contrail induced cloudiness on climate and a scientific basis for developing strategies to reduce the climate impact of aviation.
Results of volcano ash measurement flights published
The results of volcano ash measurement flights with the DLR research aircraft Falcon 20E in April and May 2010 over Europe are now published in the scientific journal “Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics” after a thorough reviewing process.
Institute of Atmospheric Physics
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