KIT contributes to the research program "Changing Earth - Sustaining our Future" in the Helmholtz Research Field Earth and Environment.

The atmosphere is the Earth's thin protective layer that shields us from harmful radiation, moderates temperature differences, and redistributes thermal energy, water, and pollutants: Almost all life depends on it. This protective function is maintained by delicate balances and is vulnerable to global changes in climate and land use. The main drivers of climate change are the radiative effects of greenhouse gases and aerosols, which affect the composition and impact of the atmosphere on all aspects of societal activities.

We are developing seamless observational and modeling techniques to unravel the complex interactions of climate change between the atmosphere, land surface, and ocean. As focal areas, we are investigating changes in air quality - globally and in urban areas - the internal causes and effects of climate change through feedbacks, and what kinds of weather and extremes we will need to prepare for in the future. Advances in these areas are paramount for reliably assessing the state of the Earth system and for predicting and projecting global changes on our future living conditions.


Our research follows a holistic approach: we develop cross-scale observational and modeling solutions for improved atmospheric forecasts and regional climate projections with unprecedented resolution. We strive to observe, understand, and predict atmospheric phenomena and process chains from their origin to climate change impacts in the atmosphere, particularly in their interactions and feedbacks with the land surface, biosphere, cryosphere, oceans, and near-Earth space. Through our work, we can assess the physical, chemical, and socio-ecological consequences of atmospheric change and its impact on climate, extreme weather, and land ecosystem functioning.

In doing so, we increase knowledge to address societal challenges such as global warming, growing world population, land use change, air quality, water availability, and energy and mobility change. Our atmospheric and climate observation and modeling activities provide the scientific basis of sustainable development strategies for the benefit of society, ecosystems, and climate mitigation and adaptation combined with economic risk reduction.

Over East Asia flutters a butterfly ...

The heat was unprecedented: in the summer of 2021, the western U.S. and western Canada suffered from scorching sun.

Mole_Ghana_2_rdax_1024x633_98s.jpgFrank Neidl, KIT
WASCAL/CONCERT Mole National Park station setup 2023 (Ghana)

Setup of Eddy-Covarianz-Station to measure emission of greenhouse gases in Ghana

MICOS_samples_teaser_rdax_98s.jpgSebastian Vergara Palacio
The hard core of clouds - Cloud-ice crystals

For outstanding teaching in the Introduction Week for international first-year students in the MSc Meteorology and Climate Physics

SWABIAN MOSES 2023 Teaser_rdax_98.pngAndreas Wieser
Thunderstorm observation from the first cloud to hail damage

IMK-TRO leads Swabian MOSES measurement campaign to study thunderstorms and heavy precipitation around the Black Forest region

pi_actris_eric_Markus_Neumann_rdax_98s.jpgMarkus Neumann
ACTRIS officially recognized worldwide by EU regulation

The European Commission has awarded the ACTRIS (Aerosol, Clouds and Trace Gases Research Infrastructure) research infrastructure its ERIC status.
The IMK-AAF is leading the topical center "Cloud in-situ" for the direct measurement of cloud processes, together with colleagues from the Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Leipzig and the Sonnblick Observatory (Geopshere Austria), Vienna.

2023_029_Klima- und Biodiversitaetskrise duerfen nicht isoliert betrachtet werden.jpgAnastasiya Sultanova, KIT
Considering the Connections between Biodiversity and Climate Crisis

New overview study provides solutions for mitigating climate change and species loss