The Department of Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU) contents 3 Divisions and 10 Research Groups:
- Division of Bio-Geo-Chemical Processes
- Division of Ecosystem-Atmosphere Interactions
- Division of Regional Climate Systems
- Land Use Change Research Group
The Department of Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU) studies the influence of anthropogenic activities on the chemical composition of the earth’s atmosphere and the resulting impacts on the environment. The Division’s program focuses on aspects of urban and regional air pollution as well as on the change of regional climate and UV radiation.
In view of the existing know-how deficits, these issues are of paramount scientific importance and also of high socio-political relevance due to their ecological and socio-economic impact. To meet the objectives in both fields of study, the Division uses a problem-oriented and interdisciplinary approach with measurements, process studies, model calculations, quality assurance being integrated. The results obtained do not only serve to improve the scientific systems understanding, but are also applied in the form of services under external contracts. Scientific research as conducted by the Division is aimed at improving the still insufficient knowledge of the complex behavior of the atmosphere, determining the temporal and spatial variations of major environmentally relevant atmospheric parameters, and quantifying the resulting impacts on regional climate, UV radiation, pollution, and their ecological and economic consequences. Development and optimization of coupled atmosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere models are of increasing importance.
These models are used to quantify complex pollutions of the different compartments involved in the system “Earth” and man’s influence on them. With these activities, the Division contributes to atmosphere and climate research and general understanding of the system “Earth”, as is internationally acknowledged. The spectrum of practical applications extends from the retrieval and quantification of pollutant emission and immission to numerical simulations of pollutant transport and regional climate, with integrated concepts being derived for the solution of environmental problems in cooperation with partners from science, industry, and public institutions.
On this basis, IMK-IFU also promotes rapid interaction of research and its direct application in industry and society. To implement the work program, an interdisciplinary team of about 125 employees is available. This staff is provided with well-equipped laboratories and offices, measurement stations, mobile measurement systems (measurement vehicles, small aircraft), and numerical models for the simulation of the atmosphere and biosphere.