At present, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology has three departments and three directors. They take turns in dressing the office of managing director at certain intervals after consultation within the board.
My long-term goal at the institute is to better understand how physical processes, particularly clouds and convection, determine the behavior and sensitivity of the climate system. Probably one of the most important influences on our global and regional climate is the planetary albedo. What is it that determines the distribution of clouds and thus the planetary albedo? How variable can cloud distributions be? How do clouds and moisture processes perturb the system? Modern simulation and observation systems offer new opportunities to ultimately answer these fundamental and long-standing questions.
We aim to advance our fundamental understanding of global climate dynamics by employing a unique research strategy that involves systematically combining a hierarchy of models with principle-based theories. Our focus centers on exploring the mechanisms that govern large-scale climate change patterns across various regions, from the tropical Pacific to the polar areas, and understanding the interconnections of these regions. A key aspect of our research involves investigating tightly coupled multi-scale processes – cloud radiation, atmospheric circulation, and ocean dynamics.
The research subject of my department is all questions concerning the role of the ocean in the past, present and future climate. This includes studies with observational data as well as simulations of the present climate, model development, predictability experiments, and performing scenario calculations.