Hauke Schmidt

Department Climate Physics
Group Global Circulation and Climate
Position Group Leader
phone +49 40 41173-405
Email hauke.schmidt@mpimet.mpg.de
Room B 416

Throughout my career I’ve developed and applied numerical models to better understand processes in the atmosphere and climate system. Currently, I’m particularly interested in the question how circulation affects Earth’s climate response to forcings, and finally its equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). ECS is defined as its surface temperature response to a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration. According to the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report from 2021 Earth’s the value ECS lies “likely” between 2.5°C and 4°C, a range that I think is still embarassingly large. Climate models can be used to better understand processes that have an influence on it.

Within the “Global Circulation and Climate” group that I’m heading we are working more broadly on issues related to circulation and climate sensitivity, like atmospheric temperature and moisture, specifically in the tropical upper troposphere, or pattern effects. Our main tool to study these topics is a hierarchy of models from the very idealized one-dimensional radiative-convective-equilibrium model “konrad” to the storm-resolving ICON-Sapphire general circulation model. The “Global Circulation and Climate” group was instrumental in the development of the former and contributes to the development of the latter. Recently, we have, e.g., analyzed how results of ICON-Sapphire, which resolves the atmosphere horizontally with a grid-spacing of a few kilometers, are affected by strongly refining the vertical grid.

Other topics I have been working on during my career include:

  • Interactions of dynamics, chemistry and radiation in the middle and upper atmosphere
  • Effects of solar variability on the Earth system
  • Vertical coupling processes in the atmosphere
  • Implications of climate engineering schemes to limit climate change
  • Adjoint modeling
  • Air pollution modeling

Place of birth
Lübeck, Germany

Thomas-Mann-Schule, Lübeck (high school)

University education
University of Cologne, Germany, Diploma in Geophysics, 1996

University of Cologne, Germany, 1999, Doktorarbeit: Vierdimensionale Datenassimilation nach der Variationsmethode fuer ein mesoskaliges Chemietransportmodell - 4D-Var data assimilation for a mesoscale chemistry transport model, mark: "summa cum laude"

Scientific positions

  • Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique, Paris, France, 1999-2001
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA: Scientific Visitor, Apr  2006 - Mar 2007
  • Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, since 2002,
  • Apr 2007 - Aug 2018: Head of the "Middle and Upper Atmosphere Modelling Group"
  • since Aug 2018: Head of the "Global Circulations and Climate Group"
  • since Apr 2010: Deputy director of the department "Atmosphere in the Earth System"

Peer reviewed:



  • Schmidt, H., V. Eyring, M. Latif, D. Rechid, and R. Sausen: Globale Sicht des Klimawandels. In: G. P. Brasseur, D. Jacob, and S. Schuck-Zöller (Eds.): Klimawandel in Deutschland. Entwicklung, Folgen, Risiken und Perspektiven, Springer Open, Berlin Heidelberg, 2017.
  • Schmidt, H., N. Harris, K. Matthes, J. Perlwitz, and F. Tummon: WCRP/SPARC Workshop: “Challenges for Climate Science – Synergies between SPARC and the WCRP Grand Challenges”, SPARC Newsletter, 48, 8-10, 2017.
  • Dudok de Wit, T., I. Ermolli, M. Haberreiter, H. Kambezidis, M. M. Lam, J. Lilensten, K. Matthes, I. Mironova, H. Schmidt, A. Seppaelae, E. Tanskanen, K. Tourpali, and Y. Yair (eds.): Earth's climate response to a changing sun, 345 p., edp sciences, Les Ulis, France, 2015.
  • Schmidt, H. and R. Wolfrum: Gezielte Eingriffe - Climate Engineering aus klimawissenschaftlicher und völkerrechtlicher Perspektive, in: Die Zukunft des Klimas (eds. J. Marotzke and M. Stratmann), C.H. Beck, München, 2015.
  • Schäfer, S.; Lawrence, M.; Stelzer, H.; Born, W.; Low, S.; Aaheim, A.; Adriázola, P.; Betz, G.; Boucher, O.; Carius, A.; Devine-Right, P.; Gullberg, A. T.; Haszeldine, S.; Haywood, J.; Houghton, K.; Ibarrola, R.; Irvine, P.; Kristjansson, J.-E.; Lenton, T.; Link, J. S. A.; Maas, A.; Meyer, L.; Muri, H.; Oschlies, A.; Proelß, A.; Rayner, T.; Rickels, W.; Ruthner, L.; Scheffran, J.; Schmidt, H.; Schulz, M.; Scott, V.; Shackley, S.; Tänzler, D.; Watson, M.; Vaughan, N.: The European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering (EuTRACE): Removing Greenhouse Gases from the Atmosphere and Reflecting Sunlight away from Earth. Funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under Grant Agreement 306993, 2015.
  • Schmidt, H., & Held, H.: Unsicherheiten in numerischen Klimasimulationen im Kontext der Entscheidungssituation. In: Modellierung in der Climate Engineering-Forschung: Aussagekräftig trotz Unsicherheiten (pp. 12-14), 2014.
  • Sonntag, S., Ilyina, T., Pongratz, J., & Schmidt, H.: Das Erdsystemmodell MPI-ESM. In: Modellierung in der Climate Engineering-Forschung: Aussagekräftig trotz Unsicherheiten (pp. 18-20), 2014.
  • Schmidt, H.: Comparing Earth and Venus. in: Towards understanding the climate of Venus: Application of terrestrial models to our sister planet (eds: L. Bengtsson et al.), pp. 157-167, Springer, New York, 2013.
  • Lebonnois, S., C. Lee, M. Yamamoto, J. Dawson, S. R. Lewis, J. Mendonca, P. Read, H.F. Parish, G. Schubert, L. Bengtsson, D. Grinspoon, S. S. Limaye, H. Schmidt, H. Svedhem, D. V. Titov: Models of Venus Atmosphere. in: Towards understanding the climate of Venus: Application of terrestrial models to our sister planet (eds: L. Bengtsson et al.),, pp. 129-156. Springer New York, 2013.
  • S. Rast, R. Brokopf, S.-K. Cheedela, M. Esch, V. Gayler, I. Kirchner, L. Kornblüh, A. Rhodin, H. Schmidt, U. Schulzweida, K.-H. Wieners: User manual for ECHAM6, Reports on earth system science, MPI-M, Hamburg, 2013.
  • M.A. Giorgetta, E. Roeckner, T. Mauritsen, J. Bader, T. Crueger, M. Esch, S. Rast, L. Kornblueh, H. Schmidt, S. Kinne, C. Hohenegger, B. Möbis, T. Krismer, K.–H. Wieners, B. Stevens: The atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM6 - Model description, Reports on earth system science, MPI-M, Hamburg, 2013.
  • Brasseur, G. P., D. Marsh, and H. Schmidt: Solar variability, climate, and atmospheric photochemistry, in: Heliophysics: Evolving solar activity and the climates of space and Earth, eds: C. L. Schrijver and G. L. Siscoe, p. 425-448, Cambridge University Press, 2010. 
  • Schmidt, H., G. P. Brasseur and the MEDEC team: Mesospheric dynamics, energetics and chemistry, Final report of the AFO2000-BMBF project, 2005.
  • Schmidt, H. and G. P. Brasseur: Simulation of the mesospheric ozone response to natural and anthropogenic climate variabilityProceedings of the Quadrennial Ozone symposium, Kos, Greece, 2004. 
  • Schmidt, H., G. P. Brasseur and the MEDEC team: Mesospheric dynamics, energetics and chemistryAFO2000 newsletter, 3(7), 3-6, 2004. 
  • Brasseur, G. P. and H. Schmidt: Ozonabnahme in der Stratosphaere. promet, 30, 106-115, 2004. 
  • Schmidt, H., R. Vautard, M. Beekmann, C. Derognat, and N. Blond: Étude de la formation d'ozone à l'échelle continentale. Rapport final du contrat entre ELF-Aquitaine et l'Institut Pierre-Simon-Laplace, Paris, 2002. 
  • Elbern, H., H. Schmidt, and A. Ebel: Improving chemical state analysis and ozone forecasts by four-dimensional chemistry data assimilation. In: Proceedings of the third WMO International Symposium on Assimilation of Observations in Meteorology and Oceanography, WMO, Geneva, WMO/TD No. 986, 293-296, 2000. 
  • Schmidt, H., H. Elbern, and A. Ebel: Optimisation des concentrations initiales par assimilation 4D-VAR pour la modélisation physico-chimique de la troposphère. Proceedings of Ateliers de modélisation de l'atmosphère, Météo-France, Toulouse, 1999. 
  • Elbern, H., H. Schmidt, and A. Ebel: Four-dimensional data assimilation for tropospheric ozone analysis. In: SODA Workshop on Chemical Data Assimilation. Proceedings. KNMI-Publikatie 188, 1999. 
  • Schmidt, H.: Vierdimensionale Datenassimilation nach der Variationsmethode für ein mesoskaliges Chemietransportmodell. PhD-thesis, in: M. Kerschgens, F. M. Neubauer, M. Pätzold, P. Speth, and B. Tezkan (eds.): Mitteilungen aus dem Institut für Geophysik und Meteorologie der Universität zu Köln, 132, Köln, 1999. 
  • Elbern, H. and H. Schmidt: Four dimensional data assimilation for a eulerian chemistry transport model. In: P. M. Borell and P. Borell (eds.): Proceedings of EUROTRAC Symposium 1998. WITpress, Southampton, 8-12, 1998. 
  • Elbern, H., S. Tilmes, and H. Schmidt: Data assimilation for chemistry-transport models. In: P. M. Borell, P. Borell, T. Cvitas und W. Seiler (eds.): Proceedings of the EUROTRAC Symposium 1996, Computational Mechanics Publications, Southampton, 681-685, 1996.


  • DFG Research Unit VolImpact - VolDyn (Volcanic impacts on atmospheric dynamics); 2019 -
  • DFG Research Unit VolImpact - VolARC (Constraining the effects of volcanic aerosol on radiative forcing and stratospheric composition); 2019 -
  • BMBF/ROMIC2 - SOCTOC (Effects of anthropogenic stratospheric ozone changes on climate sensitivity and
    tropospheric oxidation capacity) 2019 -


finalized (at MPI-M):

  • DFG Reserach Unit MS-GWAVES - GWING (Gravity Wave Interactions in the Global Atmosphere); 2015 - 2021
  • DFG/SPP Climate Engineering - CELARIT (Climate Engineering Liability and Reliability: An Integrated Treatment); 2016 - 2019
  • DFG/SPP Climate Engineering - ComparCE (Comparative assessment of potential impacts, side-effects and uncertainties of CE measures and emission-reduction efforts); 2013 - 2019
  • BMBF/MiKlip - ALARM (Alert for large volcanic eruptions in medium term climate prediction); 2011 - 2018
  • DFG/SPP Climate Engineering - CEIBRAL (Climate Engineering Impacts: Between Reliability and Liability); 2013-2015.
  • FP7 - EUTRACE (European Transdisciplinary Assessment of Climate Engineering); 2012 - 2015
  • DFG/FG SHARP (Stratospheric Change and its role for climate prediction); 2009 - 2015
  • FP7 - IMPLICC (Implications and risks of engineering solar radiation to limit climate change); 2009 - 2012
  • DFG/CAWSES - ARTOS (The Atmospheric Response to Solar Variability); 2005 - 2011
  • AFO2000 - MEDEC (Mesospheric Dynamics, Energetics and Chemistry); 2000 - 2004

ongoing (PhD):

finished (PhD):


ongoing (Master):

  • Tomer Yizhak, Ravikiran S. Hegde

finished (Master/Diplom):

  • Isaac Baffour: "Impacts of hemispheric surface asymmetries on Earth's hemispheric albedo symmetry", Univ. of Hamburg, 2022.
  • Alon Azoulay: "The Arctic polar vortex response to volcanic forcing of different strength", Univ. of Hamburg, 2019.
  • Patrick Pieper: "Investigation of spatial sensitivities in an integrated assessment of stratospheric sulfur aerosol solar radiation management respecting regional precipitation guardrails" (Erstbetreuer: H. Held), Univ. of Hamburg, 2015.
  • Rabea Athmer: "The atmospheric response to large volcanic eruptions under climate change" (ERstbetreuerin: C. Timmreck), Univ. of Hamburg, 2014.
  • Marius Stankoweit: "Climate Engineering: Insights from the Model MIND" (Erstbetreuer: H. Held), Univ. of Hamburg, 2013.
  • Andreas Miller: "Middle atmosphere coupling during stratospheric warming events simulated with the HAMMONIA GCM", Univ. of Hamburg, 2011.
  • Anna Possner: "The resolution dependency of simulated tracer transport into the Antarctic polar vortex in ECHAM6", Univ. of Edinburgh, 2010 (Erstbetreuer: D. Stevenson)
  • M. Keller: "Untersuchung der niederfrequenten Variabilitaet in der tropischen Mesosphaere des Chemie-Klimamodelss HAMMONIA", Univ. of Hamburg, 2008
  • Florian Nau: "Planetare Wellen in der MLT im Klimamodell HAMMONIA", Univ. of Osnabrueck, 2008 (Erstbetreuerin: M.-B. Kallenrode)


  • since 2019: Member of the Steering Committee of the German National Earth System Modeling initiative “natESM”
  • 2020-2023: Member of the group of Regional Focal Points for WCRP Consultations
  • 2015-2021: Member of the Scientific Steering Group of the WCRP (World Climate Research Program) core project SPARC (Stratosphere-Troposphere Processes and their Role in Climate)
  • 2015-2019: Member of the International Commission on the Middle Atmosphere (ICMA) of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science (IAMAS)
  • 2009-2018: Member of the steering group of the HAMMOZ chemistry climate model community
  • Contributing Author, Climate Change 2013 – The physical science basis, IPCC AR 5 WG1 report, chapter 7: Clouds and Aerosols