Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science

Atmospheric composition and cycles

Knowledge on atmospheric composition and chemistry is at the basis of understanding air quality, atmospheric oxidation capacity and climate. The module “Atmospheric compositions and cycles” encompasses the description and understanding of the fundamental chemical and physical processes that govern air pollution by trace gases and aerosols and the self-cleansing of the atmosphere. It is also concerned with radiative properties of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols, which are crucial for Earth’s climate.

To this end, it examines atmosphere processes at various altitudes from the boundary layer to the upper stratosphere, spanning scales from molecular to global. In combination with extreme weather events, air pollution plays a role in environmental risk assessment.
The module can be optimally combined with several of the other modules. Alternatively, students may choose individual courses from this module as optional contributions in their curriculum.


Students will

Students will acquire detailed knowledge on trace gases, aerosols and clouds and on how these determine the chemical and radiative properties of the atmosphere. They will quantitatively understand important chemical and microphysical processes and their influence on the composition of the various layers of the Earth's atmosphere (boundary layer, free troposphere, stratosphere). They will become able to judge how these properties and processes are influenced by human activity.

Module course list

Autumn semester
Spring semester

Recommendations for the optional courses block

Number Title Lecturer(s)
651-4053-05L Boundary Layer Meteorology M. Rotach / J. Schmidli
701-1235-00L Cloud Microphysics U. Lohmann / B. Sierau

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