814336 Atmospheric chemistry and climate (in Eng.)

Vorlesung und Übung
Vortragende/r (Mitwirkende/r)
Rieder, Harald , Mayer, Monika , Arsenovic, Pavle
Angeboten im Semester
Sommersemester 2024
Unterrichts-/ Lehrsprachen


The chemical composition of the Earth's atmosphere and the dynamics of the climate system are intrinsically connected. Changes in atmospheric chemistry can influence climate patterns, while climatic conditions, in turn, impact atmospheric composition. Feedback mechanisms further amplify or stabilize these interactions, ultimately shaping the Earth's climate and its response to human activities. Understanding the coupling of atmospheric chemistry and climate is crucial for predicting and mitigating the impacts of human activities on the environment. This course provides an in-depth understanding of the driving processes of atmospheric composition beyond emissions such as photochemistry, kinetics, or thermodynamics important to the chemistry of the atmosphere. Specifically the course will focus on ozone depletion, the oxidation chemistry of the troposphere, photochemical smog and other air pollution phenomena and their links to ambient climatic conditions, as well as sources and sinks of (well-mixed) greenhouse gases and their global warming potentials. In addition, feedbacks and chemistry-climate connections on different temporal and spatial scales will be investigated. The course further explores strategies regarding carbon dioxide removal and physico-chemical concepts of potential geoengineering strategies, their implications and associated risks, potential feedbacks and ethical aspects.


After completion of this course students will be able to understand and solve key processes of atmospheric gas phase chemistry, solve reaction chains, apply box models, and understand the physico-chemical process formulation in state-of-the art chemistry-transport and chemistry-climate models of different scales (global to local). Students will understand processes of primary pollutant emission and secondary pollutant formation and their role for ambient air quality as well as chemical processing and aging of species on their journey across the atmosphere. Students will understand species properties, reactivity and molecular interaction with radiation (shortwave and longwave), greenhouse gas properties and lifetimes and contributions to radiative forcing and thus climate change. Overall students will develop fundamental skills in atmospheric chemistry and physics with particular focus on the interaction of atmospheric composition and climate. This will enable them to apply models to assess quantitatively the impact of anthropogenic and natural emissions for climate and air pollution including various feedbacks. Students will further understand synergies and trade-offs between air quality legislation and climate protection and be able to discuss potential geoengineering strategies and associated risks and impacts.
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