The institute consists of six research groups.
The Climate Physics group, led by Prof. Reto Knutti,
has its focus on modelling the global coupled climate system. The group
has strong interests in constraining climate feedbacks by comparing
models with observations, and in methods to quantify expected future
climate change and its uncertainty resulting from anthropogenic
forcing. The group maintains several models to simulate climate change
scenarios on decadal to millenial time scales.
The Atmospheric Physics group, led by Prof. Ulrike Lohmann,
focuses on aerosol-cloud interactions in warm, mixed phase and ice
clouds and their importance for the radiation budget and the
hydrological cycle. It develops instrumentation and observation
methods, applying these to aerosol and cloud microphysics in field
experiments and in the laboratory. It maintains a suite of numerical
models ranging from Lagrangian air parcel models over regional models
to global climate models. Finally, the groups deals with some physical
aspects of biometeorology.
The Atmospheric Chemistry group, led by Prof. Thomas Peter, deals with modern aspects of tropospheric and
stratospheric chemistry, with a strong focus on cloud and aerosol microphysics,
heterogeneous chemistry, and cloud radiation interaction. It also has the scientific surveillance of
the renowned ozone time series of Arosa and Payerne. Investigations are performed by means of
laboratory experiments, field measurements, as well as by theoretical and
The Climate and Water Cycle group, led by Prof. Christoph Schär,
is concerned with atmospheric and hydrological processes relevant to
weather and climate on the scale of the European continent and the
Alps. The group maintains a regional climate model, several atmospheric
and hydrological models, and a comprehensive data set of Alpine
The Land-Climate Dynamics group, led by Prof. Sonia Seneviratne, investigates the role of land feedbacks and processes in the global and regional climate systems. It focuses in particular on the analysis of impacts of land-climate interactions on extreme events, climate variability and climate change, the evaluation of land-atmosphere coupling characteristics in models and observations, and the development of new observations-based datasets.
The Amospheric Dynamics group, led by Prof. Heini Wernli, concerns itself with the modeling, diagnostic analysis, and theory of weather systems and atmospheric transport processes. The group develops and maintains a suite of diagnostic tools and numerical models ranging from idealized research models to complex weather forecasting models. It also starts to perform measurements of stable water isotopes with high temporal resolution.