deutsch  | Home | Data Protection | Sitemap | KIT

What is Meteorology about?

As "physics of the atmosphere", meteorology deals with the physical processes taking place in the atmosphere of the Earth. They range from small-scale and short-lived events (such as gusts of wind, cumulus clouds, thunderstorms) to large-scale (e.g., high and low pressure areas) to global, very-long-term processes (e.g., warm periods, cold periods, climate change).

The goal of meteorology is

  • to record the processes in the atmosphere,
  • to explain on the basis of physical laws and
  • predict.

For this meteorologists use the following methods:

  • Measurements (e.g., weather stations, radiosonde ascents, aircraft measurements, satellite measurements),
  • Considerations based on physical equations,
  • Simulations with computer models.

In addition, the interactions of the atmosphere with the Earth's surface, the ocean and the vegetation as well as chemical processes in the atmosphere play an important role.

In their working groups, the scientists at the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK) are investigating a large number of questions from all areas of meteorology. Focal points are, for example, the improvement of weather forecast models, the investigation of the effects of the causes of extreme weather events, but also a better understanding of cloud formation. Another important field of research is dedicated to climate change, one of the greatest challenges of humanity of our time; the use of climate models or the interpretation and evaluation of different climate scenarios are just two examples. Further information can be found here.