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Elective: Atmospheric Chemistry
Identification number

180 h

Term of studying
1. -3. Semester
Frequency of

Winter term

1 semester
1 Type of lessons
a) Lectures
b) Exercise
Contact times
30 h
30 h
Self-study times
60 h
60 h
Intended group size

Aims of the module and acquired skills

  • Comprehension of how physical/chemical processes affect composition and changes of the atmosphere
  • Knowledge of several trace substance cycles
  • Comprehension of spatial and temporal gradients of trace substances
  • Application of reaction mechanisms on the decomposition of trace substances
  • Acquired skills are computer practice, general comprehension of systems, critical assessment and discussion of scientific work
3 Contents of the module
  • Chemical elementary reactions
  • Chemical composition of the atmosphere
  • Simple reaction systems
  • Chemical and atmospheric persistence
  • Photochemistry
  • Biogenic and anthropogenic emissions
  • Atmospheric deposition processes
  • Climate efficiency of trace gases
  • Aerosol chemistry and physics
  • Atmospheric distribution of trace substances

  • Trace substance cycles of CO, methane, hydrocarbons, sulfur compounds, nitric oxides
  • Chemistry of the hydroxyl radical
  • Complex ways of decomposition of trace substances
  • Photochemistry of the decomposition of trace substances, radical cycles
  • Formation of ozone in the troposphere
  • Trace substance balance, troposphere, stratosphere
  • Stratospheric ozone chemistry
  • Climate development
4 Teaching/Learning methods

Lectures and tutorials
5 Requirements for participation


Type of module examinations

Written Examination (graded)

7 Requisites for the allocation of credits

Successful participation in the exercises (50 % of the possible points have to be obtained) and passing of the examination.

At the end of the semester or the beginning of the following semester a possibility to repeat the examination is offered. A failed examination may be repeated twice. Additional possibilities to repeat an examination exist according to the examination regulations (§ 20 section 1).

Assessments which have been passed are not allowed to be taken again, with one exception: If at the end of a module which consists of a lecture and tutorial classes, the student takes the assessment at the first available date after having received admission to the module exam, he/she is then allowed to take the examination again at the next available date for the purpose of improving the grade, even if he/she passed the assessment the first time – in this case, the better of the two grades will count towards the final degree grade (§ 20 section 9).

The module mark is the grade obtained in the assessment. In the case of two passed assessments the module mark is the better grade
8 Compatibility with other Curricula
  • Other modules of equal value can be admitted and announced by the examination board after agreement.
  • Suitable as an elective course for mathematics, physics and geoscience students
9 Significance of the module mark for the overall grade

10 Module coordinator

A. Wahner, T. Mentel
11 Additional information