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Research

Common to all research activities at the Chair of Environmental Meteorology are exchange processes and dynamics in the atmospheric boundary layer, which we investigate primarily through empirical, but also theoretical and model-based approaches.

Near-surface wind and turbulence

At the Chair of Environmental Meteorology, we work on theoretical and practical approaches to describe and predict the wind field and turbulence near the surface. We develop empirical and numerical methods to visualize, understand, and predict how airflow interacts with simple land-surfaces and complex three dimensional canopies, such as forests or cities. We further predict and scale near-surface wind to assess the highly variable wind energy potential. Particularly in regions with complex terrain the small-scale estimation of wind energy yield remains a challenge. 

Current projects on wind and turbulence:

  • MiStriKliMinimisation of storm damage against the background of climate change (WKF)
  • NamTEX - Namib Turbulence Experiment 
  • STREEM - Full scale testing of tree streamlining in wind (DFG)

Trace-gas exchange between land and atmosphere 

The human-caused increase in global atmospheric concentrations of long-lived greenhouse gases is the major driver of global climate change. An understanding of the dynamics of sources and sinks of greenhouse gases is therefore essential to assess the future trajectories of global atmospheric concentrations. Common measurement methods for determining greenhouse gas fluxes over land surfaces have been developed for flat and homogeneous land surfaces. Our research group has shown that trace gas exchange can also be measured in complex situations such as in heterogeneous ecosystems, in cities, or in different storeys of a forest. We use spatial technologies (mobile sensor networks), physical methods e.g. stable isotopes, and combine them with airflow models to quantify and monitor emissions from soils, forests and cites.

Current projects on trace-gas exchange:

Human and urban climates

Climate change and urbanization are two global megatrends that transform human life and directly impact each other. We study feedbacks between climate change, human and urban climates. We develop fundamental and application-oriented numerical models and observational systems that together describe, forecast and simulate weather and climate at scales relevant to urban citizens and infrastructure. These models improve predictions of thermal comfort, pollutant dispersion, extreme events, and energy use and production at urban scales.

Current projects on human and urban climates: