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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 40ies, became the Fraunhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environ-mental Research IFU within the Fraunhofer Society (FHG) from 1962 to 2002, and in 2002 became part of the Helmholtz Gemeinschaft and joined the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe to be one of its four institutes within the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK). In 2009 Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe and the University of 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 the regional scale. IMK-IFU is involved in relevant international and national research programs.

IMK-IFU is provided with well-equipped laboratories and offices, a greenhouse, measurement stations, mobile measurement systems (measurement vehicles, small aircraft) which allow for the 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.