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The section of physics and chemistry of the atmosphere is composed of several science teams. Research is made in the field of trace gas analysis using Fourier Transform Spectroscopy (FTS) and other methods, aerosol analysis, and satellite data retrieval and scientific support for the GOME and SCIAMACHY projects. The structure of the whole section can be seen from the following diagram: [4.019 KB]

  • Carbon gas research: The focus of the IUP CarbonGroup is to retrieve information on atmospheric carbon gases (focus: CO2, CH4, CO) from satellites such as SCIAMACHY and aircraft instruments such as MAMAP and to interprete the observations,e.g., in terms of surface sources and sinks (emissions and uptake). The IUP CarbonGroup is involved in a number of national, European and international projects. For example, IUP leads the ESA Climate Change Initiative (CCI) project GHG-CCI. The IUP CarbonGroup is also involved in specifying future satellites such as CarbonSat.
  • CarbonSat: In order to perform global measurements of CO2 and CH4 after SCIAMACHY we are working on the specification of a new greenhouse gas satellite mission: Carbon Monitoring Satellite – CarbonSat.

(Image: NASA/wikipedia)

  • Aerosol and cloud research: Main topic of this group is the investigation of global optical and microphysical parameters of clouds and aerosols from space.

  • SCIAMACHY (Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric CHartographY) is a spectrometer designed to measure sunlight, transmitted, reflected and scattered by the earth atmosphere or surface in the ultraviolet, visible and near infrared wavelength region (240 - 2380 nm) at moderate spectral resolution (0,2 - 1,5 nm).

  • GOME (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment) is a nadir viewing UV/VIS spectrometer aboard the ERS-2 satellite. The scientific projects at IUP encompass: radiative transfer modelling, retrieval algorithm development, validation of GOME data products, and scientific case studies. The whole GOME data can now be found at one place.

  • The DOAS (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) group is using the DOAS method to retrieve atmospheric trace gas concentrations from UV/visible spectra of scattered sunlight. The method is applied to data from the GOME and SCIAMACHY satellite instruments, aircraft measurements and the data from the BREDOM network of ground-based UV/visible instruments.

  • The UVSat group is part of the "Physics and Chemistry of the Atmosphere" division led by Prof. John Burrows within the Institute of Environmental Physics (IUP). Our research focuses in satellite retrievals of ozone and other geophysical quantities in the UV and visible spectral region and we conduct studies related to ozone chemistry, atmospheric dynamics, and ozone-climate interaction. We are working with the satellite instruments GOME (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment, launched in 1995) and SCIAMACHY (SCanning ImAging spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY, launched 2002).

  • Limb Retrieval and Radiative Transfer (LRRT) group focuses its activities on the retrieval of the vertical distributions of atmospheric species (O3, NO2, BrO, H2O) and stratospheric aerosol characteristics (extinction, particle size disribution) from space borne measurements of the scattered solar light in UV-Visible-NIR-SWIR spectral range. Measurements form SCIAMACHY and OMPS-LP instruments are mainly used. Furthermore, we continue developing the SCIATRAN radiative transfer model.

  • TROLAS : The activities of the TROLAS group (Tropospheric Radical Observations and Laser Absorption Spectroscopy) of the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen (IUP-UB) focus on the investigation of different aspects of the atmospheric chemistry which are closely related to the photochemistry and the mechanisms of free radical reactions involved in the formation and depletion of O3 in the troposphere.

  • Effect of Megacities on the transport and transformation of pollutants on the Regional and Global scales
  • The number and size of major population centers (MPCs) is increasing worldwide. The investigation of the impact of transport and transformation of plumes from MPC has lately received much attention in the scientific community but our knowledge is still quite limited and inadequate.
  • EMeRGe exploits the unique capabilities of the new High Altitude and LOng Range (HALO) aircraft research platform to investigate the impact of MPC emissions on air pollution at local, regional and hemispheric scales by making dedicated airborne measurement campaigns, coupled interpretation and modelling studies of primarily the short lived climate pollutants, i.e. reactive gases, temporary reservoirs, and aerosol particles.

  • Atmospheric Modeling: The atmospheric modeling group at the IUP Bremen currently uses the Bremen 3D Chemistry and Transport Model (B3DCTM) to study processes from the upper troposphere up to the mesosphere. Our current research is related to stratospheric ozone trends and anomalies and the impact of very short-lived substances on stratospheric bromine loading.

  • Molecular Spectroscopy and Chemical Kinetics: Our work is to provide accurate reference data for atmospheric remote sensing, to study molecular physics and chemistry related to atmospheric problems, and to determine atmospheric concentrations by optical methods.

  • ACCENT / AT-2: Several projects at the IUP Bremen are part of the European ACCENT network which is dedicated to promoting the European role in research on atmospheric composition. The IUP Bremen mainly contributes to the task Satellite Observations AT2,which evolved from the EROTRAC-2 TROPOSAT project.

  • ELECTRONICS OPTICS & SENSORS GROUP: The main areas are electronics and optics specialties as well as design and test of airborne and balloonborne sensors and components.

  • OVOC emissions: A new Emmy-Noether Research Group, funded by the DFG to characterize emissions of oxygenated volatile organic compounds from the biosphere, using micrometeorological techniques in conjunction with Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry.

  • Helmholtz-University Young Investigators Group PHYTOOPTICS, a cooperation between AWI Climate Sciences and IUP, studies to the retrieval of new biooptical information from the European satellite SCIAMACHY in addition to using the data of the common ocean color sensors MERIS, SeaWiFS and MODIS. Besides remote sensing retrievals, biooptical and biochemical in-situ parameters of phytoplankton and light conditions are measured and models are used to calculate radiative transfer and primary production.

  • GeoTROPE (Geostationary Tropospheric Pollution Explorer): The scientific objective of the GeoTROPE mission is to investigate and assess the importance of anthropogenic activity and natural phenomena on the changing tropospheric composition, linking diurnal with seasonal to annual timescales, and regional with continental to global spatial scales.

  • Paleozon: Modelling possible impacts of large changes of geomagnetic intensity on the atmospheric composition using a 2 D version of the SLIMCAT model. Specifically, the impact of large solar proton events on the chemical composition and radiative balance of the atmosphere is investigated.

  • SCIAmetals: The project's objective is the monitoring of metal species in the atmosphere, in particular in the mesophere. Being excited mainly by sunlight metal atoms and ions (e.g. Fe, Mg, Na, Si, Cr) emit light at wavelengths in the UV/Vis. These emissions are retrieved from SCIAMACHY data and used to obtain global concentration profiles of metal species.

  • SCIATRAN The radiative transfer program has been designed to allow fast and accurate simulation of radiance spectra as measured or expected to be measured from space with the passive remote sensing UV-Vis-NIR spectrometers GOME.

  • BRAPHO (BRemens ATmosphärisches PHOtochemische Modell): Die Gruppe beschäftigt sich mit der Modellierung der Chemie und Physik der Atmosphäre. BRAPHO wurde entwickelt, um photochemische Prozesse in der Atmosphäre zu simulieren.


This field of research is directed by Prof. John P. Burrows.