since 2014 Cloud Physics Group at DLR and University Mainz
Aircraft operating at cruise altitudes are the only direct anthropogenic emission sources in the tropopause region at altitudes of 8 to 12 km. Aviation contributes significanly to global warming through emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, aerosol and specifically through aircraft induced cloud modifications. At present, large uncertainties hinder the targetted reduction of individual climate effects from aviation.
Clouds have a multifold impact on the atmosphere. They affect the radiation budget, take part in the hodrological cycle, offer sites for heterogeneous reactions and transport and redistribute trace gases. Particularly the ice nucleation processes, cloud life cycle and climate impact are not understood in detail.
The aim of the Junior Research Group AEROTROP is to study the effects of clouds on atmospheric composition and climate with a specific focus on aircraft emissions in a wholistic approach combining aircraft measurements, satellite observations, process studies and global modeling.
The Group is funded by the Helmholtz Association (HGF), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and the Max-Planck-Society (MPG).
The Junior Research Group has now been established as permanent Cloud Physics group at the DLR Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere with a linked position as professor for experimental meteorology at University Mainz.
The AEROTROP team has organized two aircraft campaigns CONCERT - CONtrail and Cirrus ExpeRiments with the DLR research aircraft Falcon in 2008 and 2011. The ML-CIRRUS mission on Mid-Latitude Cirrus and Contrail-Cirrus with the new German research aircraft HALO is coordinated by C. Voigt and A. Minikin.