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Helmholtz Research School
Mechanisms and Interactions of Climate Change in Mountain Regions

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Home Institute KIT/IMK-IFU

The Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Environmental Research (IMK-IFU) is the home institute of MICMoR Research School. It is located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in the very south of Germany and at the foot of Germany’s highest mountain, Mount Zugspitze (2,962m a.s.l.).

IMK-IFU was founded in the late 40-ies but changed its name to the Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research IFU within the Fraunhofer Society (FHG) in 1962. In 2002 the institute changed association groups and became part of the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft, joining the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe to become one of four institutions within their group of Institutes of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK). In 2009 another change was made when the university of Karlsruhe and the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe merged to become the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).

With its research activities, IMK-IFU is integrated in the Atmosphere and Climate Program (ATMO) of the Helmholtz Association's research area “Earth and Environment”, its results contributing essentially to the in-depth understanding of the system “Earth” and serving as a basis for a reliable derivation of measures to improve environmental conditions on a regional scale. IMK-IFU is involved in relevant international and national research programs.

IMK-IFU is supplied with well-equipped laboratories and offices, a greenhouse, measurement stations and mobile measurement systems (measurement vehicles, small aircraft), which allow an execution of complex measurement tasks and experiments. Extensive computer equipment with high-performance computers allows simulation calculations of the regional climate, chemistry and transport of pollutants, and dynamic behaviour of the biosphere and its interaction with the atmosphere.

IMK-IFU runs measurement stations in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (730m), on the Wank (1,800m) as well as on the Zugspitze summit (2,962m). These stations form part of the NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change) and measure environmentally relevant parameters for determining the change of the chemical composition of the atmosphere over time. Within the TERENO network, a prealpine observatory has been established with stations set up at Graswang, Rottenbuch, Fendt, Schechenfilz, Höglwald, Geigersau and Lackenberg. These stations are used jointly for field measurements with respect to the exchange between atmosphere and biosphere. In addition, IMK-IFU scientists conduct research at many sites worldwide, e.g. in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Tanzania, Jordan, Syria, China, Philippines and Brazil.

For more detailed information see IMK-IFU’s webpage.