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IMK-IFU has extensive experience in both experimental/observational research and numerical modelling of environmental systems.
Observation in China
Testsite Burkina Faso (Africa)
Observation in Burkina Faso (Africa)
model structure
Modelling in Garmisch-Partenkirchen
climate modelling
Projected precipitation change

We follow an integrated approach by combining observations and process-modelling of bio-hydro-atmosphere interactions and trends from molecular to regional scales in a global context of climate change.


Observing the Atmospheric Environment

IMK-IFU measures trace gas, water and energy exchange between the biosphere and the atmosphere on a large range of scales, from single leaves or soil chambers to flux tower-based studies of ecosystem exchange and regional flux transects using an ultralight aircraft, as well as profiles of climatically relevant trace gases, temperature and wind by ground-based remote sensing techniques.

Effective techniques of data quality assurance and control have been developed to conduct complex measurement programs in remote locations over many years.


Modelling of Bio-Hydro-Atmospheric Interactions

Measurements at all scales (biochemical, field scale, and regional scale) are accompanied with intensive efforts of numerical modelling.

Different hydrological, biological and air-chemistry models are thus developed and applied:

  • Leaf scale models of isoprenoid emission are developed to foster the understanding of these processes and to understand their relation to environmental changes.
  • Models capturing carbon sequestration, leaching and trace gas losses from the soil. The results are scaled to the regional and global scale to serve a better understanding of climate change.
  • Biogenic or anthropogenic trace gases are considered in modelling air quality at the local and regional scale.
  • Other biosphere properties that affect momentum, energy- and water-balance are considered in regional climate and hydrological models to improve climate change scenarios and to derive regional specific impacts of climate- and landuse-changes.


The impact of climate change on biospheric-hydrospheric-atmospheric interactions is investigated by linking high resolution non-hydrostatic climate models with hydrological, biological and air-chemistry models and the application of these coupled model systems to impact assessments in climate sensitive regions in Europe, Latin America, West Africa, East Africa, the Middle East, Inner Mongolia, and Australia.