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Today

Sep. 25, 2017 - 15:30
Dr. Wiebke Schubotz

Sonderseminar! High definition clouds and precipitation - an overview of the HD(CP)² project

Upcoming

Nov. 28, 2017 - 15:00
Dr. Eric Thomson
University of Gothenburg, Department of Chemistry & Molecular Biology

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Feb. 06, 2018 - 15:00
Prof. Raymond Pierrehumbert
University of Oxford, Department of Physics

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Archive

Aerosols, Clouds, and Atmospheric Chemistry

Welcome to the division "Atmospheric Aerosol Research" of the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. Our research focuses on the role of aerosols in the climate system, the hydrological cycle, and the environment.
The IMK-AAF

  • operates the internationally renowned AIDA aerosol and cloud simulation chamber
  • runs laboratories for aerosol and cloud research
  • participates in field campaigns
  • performs numerical modelling of atmospheric aerosol processes

The head of the division, Thomas Leisner, is professor at the Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg.

 

NEWS

 AIDA Scheme
20 Years Aerosol and Cloud Research with AIDA

On May 22nd, 1997, our institute celebrated the formal opening of the new aerosol and cloud chamber facility AIDA. After about two years of construction and technical runs, the first scientific campaign started on May 11th, 1997, and investigated heterogeneous chemistry on soot aerosols. Since then, a number of 5 to 10 campaigns was conducted every year, covering topics of trace gas chemistry, heterogeneous chemistry, aerosol formation, aerosol optical properties, polar stratospheric cloud formation as well as formation, growth, morphology and radiative properties of ice crystals in tropospheric clouds. The aerosol-cloud research with AIDA is also the topic of a recent KIT podcast (in German). We are grateful to all our national and international collaboration partners who contributed and still contribute to many of the AIDA campaigns.

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HDO/H2O isotopic fractionation in simulated cirrus clouds

The first experimental determination of HDO/H2O isotopic fractionation factors for ice deposition in simulated cirrus clouds for temperatures betwen 190-233 K could be achieved in the AIDA aerosol and cloud chamber (Lamb et al., PNAS 2017). In collaboration between the University of Chicago, PTB, and KIT unique measurement techniques for water isotopes were developed and applied for dedicated cirrus cloud simulation experiments. A detailed box model analysis including wall effects resulted in equilibrium fractionation factors and kinetic isotope effects with a weaker temperature dependence than extrapolations of previous work suggested. These results are fundamental for inferring processes on Earth and other planets from water isotopic measurements.

View from Jungfraujoch Research Station
Measurements at the High Altitude Research Station Jungfraujoch

During the INUIT-CLACE campaign in January and February 2017, international teams collaborate at the Jungfraujoch Research Station (3571 m, Switzerland) to investigate aerosol-cloud processes and cloud microphysics in the mixed-phase cloud regime. KIT contributes single particle mass spectrometer measurements of aerosol particles and cloud ice residuals, as well as measurements of ice nucleating particle (INP) concentrations by taking aerosol filter samples for later offline INP analysis with an immersion freezing method.

 
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Integration of European atmospheric simulation chambers in the new EUROCHAMP-2020 infrastructure project

Between December 2016 and 2020 the EU invests ~9 Mio € to further integrate 16 simulation chamber and 4 calibration facilities. This includes the AIDA aerosol and cloud chamber facility of KIT. Trans national access to these facilities is substantially supported. For details contact us or see: www.eurochamp.org.

FSM
Ice active nucleation cites successfully identified on K-Feldspar

Scientists of IMK-AAF, in cooperation with researchers of the KIT Laboratory of Electron Microscopy (LEM) and University College London (UCL) have succeeded in identifying the unique features on K-Feldspar responsible for its high ice nucleation efficiency. As reported in Science magazine (DOI: 10.1126/science.aai8034), they combined electron microscopy observations with molecular modeling to determine for the first time the atomic nature of this important inorganic ice nucleating particle. They showed that ice starts to grow on the specific crystal faces with (100) orientation that only occur at defects (steps, cracks, and crevices) on the surface of feldspar particles.

C-130
Maiden flight of KIT developed instrument onboard the US NCAR C-130

The KIT in-house development PHIPS-HALO was chosen as the only non-US instrument to participate in the NSF funded airborne campaign ARISTO taking place in Colorado, USA. ARISTO is a unique platform for testing innovative and novel technologies in the field of atmospheric research. This year’s platform, the C-130, is well-known for its capabilities to do research flights under harsh conditions. The first flight of the campaign was performed targeting ongoing forest fires in the Rocky Mountains area. The flight was a success for the whole payload and especially for the KIT PHIPS-HALO.

 
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Environmental Award 2015 of the Sparkasse Karlsruhe-Ettlingen received by Natascha Savic

She received the award for her Master thesis “Influence of biodiesel fuel composition on morphology and microstructure of particles emitted from Diesel engines”. Her results are expected to be useful for the development of after treatment devices and the understanding of the atmospheric behaviour of soot particles as well as their health effects.  (http://www.umweltstiftung-karlsruhe.de/sparkassen-umwelt-preis)

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Field campaign to compare AeroTram data with results of stationary measurements near Leopoldshafen

AeroTram findings of unexpected high annual averaged particle number concentrations near Leopoldshafen are investigated in a joint effort by IMK-TRO and IMK-AAF. A measurement container equipped with various gas and particle sensors including most advanced mass spectrometers is deployed near Leopoldshafen to identify the nature and potentially the origin of the high particle concentrations observed by the instrumented AeroTram (http://www.aero-tram.kit.edu/).

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IMK-AAF at ZKM

The scientific research at AAF is part of the exhibition "GLOBALE: Exo-Evolution" at Center for Art and Media (ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany). From 31.10 2015 to 28.02.2016 two exhibits, “High speed video recordings of freely levitated freezing droplets” and “Ice crystals growing on feldspar mineral in electron microscope” can be seen in the ZKM, Atrium 8+9. The exhibits show high resolution video recordings of microphysical processes responsible for nucleation and growth of ice in atmospheric clouds. The exhibition opening takes place on Friday, October 30th, 2015 at 7:30 pm.

 
StormPeakLAb
KIT GRACE student contributes to FIN03

During September 2015, U.S. and German teams of atmospheric ice nucleation research collaborate at the Storm Peak Laboratory, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, to intercompare methods for sampling ice nucleating particles from ambient air. This activity called FIN03 is the final major experimental activity within the Fifth International Ice Nucleation Workshop (FIN). The KIT PhD student Thea Schiebel is participating in this activity as part of her 3 month visit to the Colorado State University which is supported by the KIT Graduate School for Climate and Environment (GRACE)