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 Cloud Physics Group 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 Cloud Physics group at the DLR Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere is linked to the Institute for Physics of the Atmosphere of the University Mainz. The Group is funded by the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Helmholtz Association (HGF), and the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.
The aircraft experiment CONCERT - CONtrail and Cirrus ExpeRiment with the research aircraft Falcon and the ML-CIRRUS campaign on Mid-Latitude Cirrus and Contrail-Cirrus with the new German research aircraft HALO were coordinated by C. Voigt.