The composition of the Earth’s atmosphere has undergone extensive change during the last century, with important ramifications for human health, resource management, ecosystem services and the environment. Atmospheric trace constituents (trace gases and aerosols) are key drivers for air quality and climate. Furthermore reactive trace gases (e.g. methane, VOC, NOy, ozone, etc.) control many important feedbacks in the earth system by influencing the oxidizing capacity of the atmosphere and by producing a large fraction of organic (and inorganic) aerosol in the atmosphere.
Understanding their exchange at the surface-atmosphere interface as well as their transport throughout the planetary boundary layer and mixing into the free troposphere through entrainment processes remains challenging. Sub-grid scale processes governing the atmospheric fate of reactive trace gases are particularly uncertain and directly relate to uncertainties in future projections of climate and air quality.
The Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry (APC) group at the Institute for Atmospheric and Cryospheric Sciences of the University of Innsbruck uses innovative approaches to quantify the chemical composition of the atmosphere. New experimental concepts are explored that allow studying the exchange of trace constituents and their atmospheric transport and chemistry in the atmosphere, as well as testing and improving modeling concepts. The APC group collaborates with national and international research institutions, including start ups to achieve these research objectives.
We offer a wide range of thesis topics in environmental meteorology and atmospheric physics. More recently, topics related to air quality and climate observations at the Innsbruck Atmospheric Observatory (IAO) are opening. The topics are designed to get an in-depth view of the growing field of environmental meteorology. Observational hands-on projects, data projects or more programming oriented topics are possible.