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Atmospheric Physics in Wuppertal

Our atmosphere and its future

For millions of years our atmosphere has changed persistently and is continuously changing today. Most of the changes are triggered by natural processes and not influenced by human beings. But some changes primarily observed during the last century, such as the emissions of CFCs, are obviously due to human activities. Since there is no other habitat for us and future generations but this planet, it is our  responsibility to understand these changes and investigate their causes. Only if reliable predictions about the future development of our atmosphere are possible, we can develop reasonable counteractions without creating new and even more serious problems elsewhere.

Knowledge as a basis

The only reliable basis to take action is knowledge: Knowledge of physical und chemical processes in the atmosphere, knowledge of the interaction between different systems like the surface of the earth, the biosphere, the oceans, the cryosphere and the atmosphere as well as knowledge of the interaction between the different layers  of the atmosphere itself. Also external impacts as changes in the solar constant, variabilities of solar wind and cosmic radiation have to be considered. All this can only be accomplished by observations.

Atmospheric Physics in Wuppertal

The University of Wuppertal is the only university in the state of NRW which made atmospheric physics to one of its priority programs. Our working group is engaged in the reasearch of physical processes in the atmosphere from the Earth's surface to the upper atmosphere. We use ground-based instruments as well as instruments on airships, aircrafts, and satellites. We are involved in a wide range of research projects in close collaboration with national and international universities as well as with research centres of the HGF and the Max Planck Society.

Hurricane Francis

Photo taken by Mike Fincke aboard the International Space Station on August 27, 2004

Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs)

Photo taken during the RECONCILE campaign in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland on January 10,2010

Noctilucent Clouds

Photograph taken by Mika Yrjölä in August 2003. This image portraits a bright noctilucent cloud over Lake Saimaa.