May 202014

Within the ITaRS network the PhD have the to go for two so called secondments to other universities or institutes to learn from there expertise. So I wet the last for weeks to the Leibniz Institute fro Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) to learn more about lidar data processing. Aim was to be able to use measurement data from the CESAR Water Vapour, Aerosol and Cloud Lidar (CAELI) in Cabauw for my PhD work. The lidar should help me to detect the supercooled liquid layers within mixed-phase clouds. In Leipzig I learned how lidar data of cloud measurements can be processed and what kind of problems could be expected in terms of cloud measurements.  Further steps that will follow are taking own measurements in Cabauw to extend the data set for the PhD.


Apr 022014

A few weeks ago the mid-term review in the ITaRS (Initial Training for Atmospheric Remote Sensing), a now-called Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN, took place in Potsdam. We did our self to present ourselves, ITaRS and our work to the EU officials. And I had the feeling we did a great job and ITaRS is going on and will produce nice results in the end!

It was again an inspiring and interesting time with all the fellows and scientists that are involved in ITaRS or visited this meeting in Potsdam. I am looking forward to the next meetings and the on going collaborations 🙂

meeting  dinner

fellows_small  berlin

Mar 032014

Summer School 2014 – Clouds and Precipitation: Observation and Processes, September 08-17, 2014 – Research Center Jülich, Germany

The 2nd ITaRS Summer School on “Clouds and Precipitation: Observation and Processes” provides theoretical and practical training on clouds and precipitation (instrumentation, retrieval and processes). Participants will benefit from a hands-on training with the instruments from the JOYCE site (microwave radiometer, scanning cloud radar, micro rain radar, wind lidar, sodar, infrared spectrometer) and the polarimetric twin radars in Bonn and Jülich. Specific lectures on different instrumental techniques, data assimilation and climate processes will be held by the experts of the field. During group work, open discussions and social events participants will have the opportunity to discuss with the external lecturers and strengthen their network.
The Summer School is organized by EU-funded network ITARS and represents the sequel of the Summer School on “Remote Sensing of Clouds and Precipitation” organized by the Hans Ertel Centre of Weather Research (HErZ) held in Bonn 2013.

Apart from the ITaRS fellows the school is open for 15 PhD students and young post-docs in the field of Atmospheric Sciences. The participation fee is 600 euro, incl. scientific and social activities, material, lunch and coffee. Accomodation in Jülich will cost approximately 50 euro per day. Travel and accomodation costs are not included in the fee. Up to six travel grants are available, please indicate in the application.
Please send your application (motivation letter and CV) in a single pdf-file to by May 31. You will be notified about your acceptance or rejection within June.


Mar 032014

New Year and also new news from the ITaRS network!

During the first ITaRS summer school in Bucharest the participants did four movies that are now uploaded on the ITaRS web page or on youtube. The videos introduce the ITaRS network and fellows, sum up the last ITaRS summer school and give an impression about science divulgation and climate change.

More activities will come soon

Oct 142013

Our 3rd year PhD student Igor Stepanov gave a talk at the Interdisciplinary Conference of Young Earth System Scientists, in Hamburg, Germany, 22-25th of September 2013. He presented his PhD project: Impact of drizzle on cloud lifetime, within the innovative session, “Pecha Kucha” talk, in which 20 slides is shown, 20 seconds each. This method has gained popularity worldwide to communicate concise information to a broad audience. See for more examples of this entertaining and clear way of presenting.

The focus of the conference was on Understanding and Intepreting Uncertainties. Innovative, experimental methods of giving presentationg were introduced, such as 3 minute poster pitch, twin talk, non-linear presentation, Pecha Kucha and Touchless Wireless. This made following the talks incredibly fun, but also the presenters seem to have enjoyed themselves while trying to be punctual when, for example slides change automatically every 20 seconds, as in Pecha Kucha talk,

3 keynote talks were given by Eli Tziperman (Harvard, US), Richard Tol (University of Sussex, UK) and Joyeeta Gupta (University of Amsterdam, NL). They were heavily focused on details on how IPCC repots are produced and the fascinating 30 year history of how this repots came to be, by prof. Gupta.

A follow up conference of the ICYESS has been scheduled in a year from now in Bremen, Germany. Again the key participants will be young researchers, master and PhD students and PostDocs with attempts to break and improve the standards in conferences structure once again.

Oct 102013

Two members of our group, Yann Dufournet, and Lukas Pfitzenmaier participated at the 7th HyMex workshop in Cassis, France, 6.10 – 10.10.2013. They presented first results based on data sets measured during the HyMeX field campaign in fall 2012.

The topic of Lukas poster is: Separation of liquid and ice phase within mixed-phase clouds using combined radar and lidar measurements during HyMex. It shows first ideas to seperate the two phases within mixed phase clouds, work related to Lukas PhD topic.

Yanns talk was about first results of a precipitation system processes obervation during the field campaign. He focused on the dynamical processes of an convective system measured on 29.10.2012, using spectral information that TARA produced.

It was a nice opportunity to come in contact with other scientists with interesting discussions and knowledge exchanges.

Jul 192013







The Gordon Research Seminar and Conference: Radiation and Climate took place at the Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, near Boston, 5-12th of July, 2013. It brought together the atmospheric modeling and observing community from all over the world. Our PhD student Igor Stepanov attended with a poster presentation titled: Cloud lifetime and feedback observations. Practical conference with a lot of dedicated time for discussions, which went into overtime during the meal hours as well, thanks to the kitchen chef skills that kept us asking for more.

Try to find our PhD student on the conference participants family picture near the right hand side in the 4th row from the bottom.

Jul 182013

Teaching is also part of scientific work. So the ATMOS participate in a fieldwork experiment in Iceland within the framework of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing master track of our department ( At first, all the work required to prepare the fieldwork appeared quite straightforward, and times to do it was suppose largely enough.  So we both, Igor and Lukas, PhD students, are the tow that represented the group in Iceland. During the preparation period we got lots of support specially form Yann (Thanks) and the rest of the group as well. In the end had no imagination how many e-mail had to be written, how long it would take to organize all the instruments, cables, and boxes to ship them. And how many meeting we had to participate… and how often we have to explain your plans again and again…

Finally we very happy sitting in the plain to Iceland (The first time in the first class because we got an upgrade). After landing in Kaflavik international airport we had a few hours time to have a walk trough Reykjavik. In the evening we had another flight to Akureyri and from there another one and half hour ride to Reykiahild at lake Myvatn. After mounting all the instruments the whole Saturday we welcomed the rest of the staff and all the students in the evening. On Sunday we had a trip on the Krafla volcano. So the students had a first reconnaissance of the area. The area was picked to measure deformation with GPS, gravimeter, leveling, and other methods. Students were also involved in placing two times four weather stations to study atmospheric variability within a small area.

A second part of the atmospheric measurement activity was to measure and estimate cloud base height. For this activity we asked colleagues from the Iceland Met Office for help. They provided us a radio-sonde launch and showed us their mobile SELEX X-band radar. All in all was a very interesting and fascinating meeting with them.

After a few days in the field, we encountered our first issues with the measurement setup related to the weather stations. We realized that we forgot to order enough data-loggers (a very small device which is plugged to the weather sensor in order to store the data). So we spent the whole next day on Skype and phone calls to Netherlands and Iceland and writing emails to get them ordered and urgently shipped to our place in Iceland. And believed it or not the data loggers arrived on Friday evening. Still enough time for the students to collect some data before Igor and I leave on Monday morning. In the end we managed to run all the weather stations with the data loggers and had a first look to some first results.

Now we are back from Iceland and think about the experiences we made. We learned a lot about planning field trips and/or experiments as well as handling students and about fixing problems. It was an intensive time with a lot of ups and downs but we as a group will participate next year again to see if we can improve and reduce the problems that we had this times.