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Institute TROPOS


Properties of the TROPOS
Acronym: TROPOS
Name: Leibniz-Institut für Troposphärenforschung e.V.
Country: Germany
Official website:

Description of the institute

In the "Research Park Leipzig/Permoserstraße" close to the Environmental Research Center, other research establishments and related businesses you find the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research e.V. (TROPOS). Its name identifies the IfT as a member of the Leibniz Association.

The IfT was founded for the investigation of physical and chemical processes in the polluted troposphere. Meanwhile, a well-defined and globally unique research profile of IfT emerged, with a focus on aerosols, i.e. small airborne particles, and clouds. Despite their minute absolute amount, aerosols and clouds are essential parts of the atmosphere because they control the budgets of energy, water and trace substances of the Earth System. Human activities can change these highly disperse systems and thus feed back on human beings. This may happen via health effects caused by inhaled particles and fog droplets and through regional and global climate change. Despite these strong connections between human beings, aerosols, and clouds important physico-chemical processes of aerosol and cloud formation and the relationships with climate and health are poorly understood. This limitation is mainly due to analytical difficulties with the very small samples and with the complex behavior of tropospheric multiphase systems, in which individual processes seldom can be distinguished. In climate research this limitation is refl ected in much larger uncertainties in predicted anthropogenic aerosol and cloud effects in comparison to numbers published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for additional greenhouse gases. Rapid advances in our understanding of tropospheric multiphase processes and an application of this process understanding to the prediction of the consequences of human impacts can only be expected from concerted approaches from several directions. Consequently, the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research conducts field studies in several polluted regions parallel to the development of analytical methods for aerosol and cloud research. These tools are not only applied in field experiments but also in extensive laboratory investigations, which form a second major activity. A third and equally important approach consists of the formulation and application of numerical models that reach from process models to regional simulations of the formation, transformation and effects of tropospheric multiphase systems.