The atmospheric chemistry group is involved in four types of activities:
Field measurements of water vapor and backscatter of aerosol and cloud particles. We perform balloon soundings throughout the troposphere and lower stratosphere applying home-made, customized equipment. In addition, we determine aerosol and cloud backscatter from ground based LIDAR measurements.
Laboratory experiments to study the microphysics of individual aerosol particles as well as the formation mechanisms of cloud particles. We use Raman microscopy and perform spectroscopy on single levitated aerosol particles. We operate a unique electrodynamic balance to characterize aerosol processes with high accuracy.
Microphysical modelling studies of the thermodynamics and uptake/chemical kinetics of aerosols and clouds. We simulate the physical chemistry of these clouds with a focus on the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere, and compare model results in detail with field observations.
Chemistry-climate modeling using a global general circulation model with coupled comprehensive atmospheric chemistry. We investigate the interactions between climate and chemistry and make projections: how will climate and air quality change on our way into the next century?
For more information please contact Prof. Thomas Peter
Air, clouds and light: The stuff that dreams are made of …
Our research is atmospheric chemistry and physics. We are interested in the atmospheric composition, resulting from natural and anthropogenic emissions of gaseous species and aerosols: How are they chemically and physically transformed? What is their impact on air quality and on the greenhouse effect? How do we deal with the dilemma that cleaner air might result in an acceleration of climate change? Etc.
We approach these questions by focusing on a number of highlights:
- AerosolsHow do the tiny particles take up water or serve as hosts for chemical reactions? We investigate them using state-of-the-art laboratory technology.
- Balloon Soundings How do the tiny particles take up water or serve as hosts for chemical reactions? We investigate them using state-of-the-art laboratory technology.
- Chemistry Climate InteractionHow does climate change affect air quality and vice versa? We operate a coupled global chemistry-climate model.
- Cirrus Clouds and Water Vapor How do the ice particles in cirrus form and why does water vapor in these clouds often remain supersaturated? We analyze the measured data critically.
- Ozone Trends Is the ozone layer recovering as expected after the regulations under the Montreal Protocol? We scrutinize satellite and ozone sonde data.
- Polar Stratospheric Clouds How do they convert anthropogenic chlorine into ozone depleting substances? We suggest unprecedented mechanisms for the formation mechanisms of these clouds.