Atmospheric Modelling and Remote Sensing

Anthropogenic emissions from industry, traffic, households and agriculture affect air quality and contribute to globally increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Our group specializes in the application of Lagrangian and Eulerian atmospheric models as well as in air pollution remote sensing. We aim to better understand processes governing atmospheric trace gas and aerosol concentrations to answer environmentally pressing questions and to support policy makers. In particular, we focus on

  • Quantifying greenhouse gas emissions (halocarbons, CH4, CO2, etc.) using inverse methods
  • Simulating the effect of specific sources and future scenarios on air pollution levels
  • Understanding atmospheric processes (transport, chemistry, air quality – climate interactions)
  • Investigating air pollution using satellite and airborne remote sensing
Modelling of greenhouse gases and their sources
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Quantifying current and past greenhouse gas emissions is of fundamental importance to understand future climate change. Our group applies atmospheric inversion techniques at regional to the global scale combining observations with Lagrangian Particle Dispersion Modelling (LPDM). Inverse emission estimates help improve our understanding of natural source processes and can be used to check compliance with current and future anthropogenic emission regulations. Read more on

Air pollution and urban modelling
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Air pollution is a multifaceted problem involving many different pollutants, scales, processes and sources. We apply state-of-the-art numerical models to study air quality at regional to urban scales and investigate the role of different processes and emissions to provide guidance for policy makers and input for environmental assessments. Our main tools are the comprehensive chemistry-meteorology model COSMO-ART for regional scales and the nested system GRAMM/GRAL for urban and building-resolving scales.

Remote sensing
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Satellite remote sensing has revolutionized our understanding of global air pollution since the first observa-tions from the UV/VIS spectrometer GOME became available in 1995. We develop retrieval algorithms for trace gas remote sensing from satellites and airborne platforms with a focus on nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and specialize on the analysis of air pollution distributions at regional to urban scales. We are also a partner in ESA’s GHG-CCI project on greenhouse gas observations from satellites.


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