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Atmospheric Water Cycle and Remote Sensing (AWARES)


It's all about atmospheric water cycle and remote sensing. 

Water vapor, clouds and radiative effects in the Arctic

The Arctic is experiencing rapid changes which result from complex feedback mechanisms which are not well understood. A better understanding of the Arctic climate system is thus a key challenge which we address by exploiting ground-based and satellite remote sensing observations. In particular, we want to gain insight into water vapor, clouds, precipitation and radiative effects in the Arctic. Detailed observations are crucial here and available from long-term measurements at Ny-Ålesund but also from campaign based activities, e.g. MOSAiC. more...

Find out more from Kerstin Ebell

Airborne observations of clouds, precipitation, and surface

Airborne observations fill the gap between local, single point, but temporarily high resolved ground based and satellite borne wide area, but spatialy and temporarily coarse resolved observations. We use them to take a closer look on clouds, precipitation, and the surface in the Arctic and tropics. Often instruments on aircraft are used to test future techniques for satellite applications. more...

Find out more from Mario Mech

Tropical clouds

Clouds in the tropics are crucial for the climate. Many studies showed that climate predictions' largest uncertainties depend on how these small puffy cumulus clouds will respond to global warming. Will they be shallower? Or deeper? Will they rain more? Precipitation in the tropics is also essential for redistributing water vapor in the sub-cloud layer. Rain and cloud in tropical regions live over an immense blue ocean full of eddies that mix water from different areas or big rivers. Does the ocean influence cloud formation? And if so, how? Exploiting the unique multiscale dataset collected during the EUREC4A campaign we try to answer some of these questions.

Satellite innovations

Satellite instruments provide unique views into our climate system with strongly increasing capabilities in the future. For example, the Ice Cloud Imager (ICI) as part of the upcoming MetOp-Second Generation will for the first time provide submillimeter measurements for atmospheric monitoring. The Meteosat Third Generation (MTG) will include sounding instruments for 3D probing of the atmosphere. However, extracting relevant information to infer cloud properties or the atmospheric composition is not straight forward. In this respect, new techniques involving methods from artificial intelligence provide new opportunities, such as deriving fog climatologies.

Media Appearance

Impressions of the Arctic

as a contribution for the student magazine of the UoC (German only)

a video from the Arctic Cloud Observations Using airborne measurements during polar Day (ACLOUD) campaign in corporation with Uni Leipzig, AWI Bremerhaven/Potsdam, TROPOS as well as MPI Mainz, Uni Mainz, KIT and LAMP

Impressions of the tropics

a video of one of our group members made during the EUREC4A  campaign

Latest publications

  • Karlsson, L., R. Krejci, M. Koike, K. Ebell, and Paul Zieger, 2021: The role of nanoparticles in Arctic cloud formation, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 8933–8959,

  • Crewell, C.K. Ebell, P. Konjari, M. Mech, T. Nomokonova, A. Radovan, D. Strack, A. M. Triana Gomez, S. Noel, R. Scarlat, G. Spreen, M. Maturilli, A. Rinke, I. Gorodetskaya, C. Viceto, T. August, and M. Schröder, 2021: A systematic assessment of water vapor products in the Arctic: from instantaneous measurements to monthly means, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 14, 4829-4856,

  • Schoger, S. Y., D. Moisseev, A. von Lerber, S. Crewell, and K. Ebell, 2021: Snowfall rate retrieval for K- and W-band radar measurements designed in Hyytiälä, Finland, and tested at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 60(3), 273-289,

  • Reyers, M., C. Böhm, L. Knarr Y. Shao, and S. Crewell,2020: Synoptic-to-regional scale analysis of rainfall in the Atacama Desert (18°S-26°S) using a long-term simulation with WRF, Monthly Weather Review, 148 (8), 1-51,

  • Jacob, M., P. Kollias, F. Ament, V. Schemann, and S. Crewell, 2020: Multi-layer Cloud Conditions in Trade Wind Shallow Cumulus – Confronting Models with Airborne Observations, Geoscientific Model Development, 13, 5757–5777,

  • Schemann, V., K. Ebell, B. Pospichal, R. Neggers, C. Moseley, and B. Stevens, 2020: Linking large‐eddy simulations to local cloud observations. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 12 (12), e2020MS002209.

  • Neher, I., S. Crewell, S. Meilinger, U. Pfeifroth, and J. Trentmann, 2020: Long-term variability of solar irradiance and its complications for photovoltaic power in West Africa, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 20, 12871-12888,

  • Schnitt, S., U. Löhnert, R. Preusker, 2020: Potential of Dual-Frequency Radar and Microwave Radiometer Synergy for Water Vapor Profiling in the Cloudy Trade Wind Environment, Journal of Oceanic and Atmospheric Technology, 37(11), 1973-1986,

  • Maahn, M., D. D. Turner, U. Löhnert, D. J. Posselt, K. Ebell, G. G. Mace, and J. M. Comstock, 2020: Optimal Estimation Retrievals and Their Uncertainties: What Every Atmospheric Scientist Should Know. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, E1512–E1523,

  • Mech, M., M. Maahn, S. Kneifel, D. Ori, E. Orlandi, P. Kollias, V. Schemann, and S. Crewell, 2020: PAMTRA 1.0: A Passive and Active Microwave radiative TRAnsfer tool for simulating radiometer and radar measurements of the cloudy atmosphere, Geoscientific Model Development, 13, 4229-4251,

  • Cantalloube, F. j. Milli, C. BöhmS. Crewell, J. Navarrete, K. Rehfeld, M. Sarazin, and A. Sommani, 2020: The impact of climate change on astronomical observations, Nature Astronomy, 4, 826-829,

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