The Leibniz-Institute for Tropospheric Research e.V. (TROPOS) is a member of the Leibniz Association. The institute was founded in 1992 to investigate the physical and chemical processes in the polluted troposphere. In the meantime, a well-defined and unique research profile of TROPOS has emerged with a focus on aerosols and clouds. Aerosols and clouds are essential parts of the atmosphere. They control the budgets of energy, water and trace substances of the Earth System. Human activities can change these highly disperse systems and thus feed back on human beings. These feedbacks may come up as health effects or, more famous, as global climate change. Despite these strong connections between human beings, aerosols and clouds, important physico-chemical processes of aerosol and cloud formation as well as the relationships with climate and health are poorly understood. Advances in our understanding of tropospheric multiphase processes and an application of this process understanding to the prediction of the consequences of human impacts can only be expected from concerted approaches from several directions.
In order to promote these understanding, the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research conducts field studies in several polluted regions. Furthermore, there is a consequently development of analytical methods for aerosol and cloud research. These tools are not only applied in field experiments but also in extensive laboratory investigations, which form a second major activity. A third and equally important approach consists of the formulation and application of numerical models that reach from process models to regional simulations of the formation, transformation and effects of tropospheric multiphase systems.
Due to the notion of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646 - 1716), a philosopher, universal scholar and eponym of the Leibniz Association, a close combination between theory and practice (theoria cum praxi) is lived at TROPOS.