Supporting Members of the Max Planck Society visit the MPI-M

Monitoring stations EUREC4A

Graphic © MPI-M, Noreiks

During the 70th Annual Meeting of the Max Planck Society (MPS), which takes place in Hamburg this year, around 70 supporting members of the MPS visited the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) and the German Climate Computing Center (DKRZ).

The supporting members are important multipliers for the concerns of the MPS and also contribute significantly to the institutional and scientific autonomy of the Max Planck Society and its institutes. In addition to the annual membership fee, they support special projects with their donations every year, which would otherwise be difficult to finance. This year, the members support the research at MPI-M and enable with their generous donations the financing of a special high-performance radar, POLDIRAD, within the framework of the major project EUREC4A (Elucidating the Role of Cloud-Circulation Coupling in Climate) taking place in 2020.

The project is led by Prof Bjorn Stevens, Director of the department “Atmosphere in the Earth System” at MPI-M, and Prof Sandrine Bony of the Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique (LMD/IPSL) in Paris. It is a key field experiment of the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) to investigate the role of trade wind clouds in the tropics (link to news about major planning meeting for large-scale German-French project EUREC4A in Barbados).

After an introductory lecture by the managing director Prof Jochem Marotzke, the guests were given a very detailed insight into the planned field study by Prof Stevens. It illustrated how the special high-performance C-band radar POLDIRAD enables an extension of the planned measuring range and the first-time detection of the spatial distribution of precipitation. Prof Stevens: “This radar, for the financing of which we are very grateful to the supporting members, complements in a special way the measurements carried out around the island of Barbados by sea, land and air, and is the only system of this kind in the tropics. Through these measurements in combination with the aircraft and ship measurements, EUREC4A will be able to test the hypothesis that precipitation plays an important role in the organization of cloud patterns. Understanding the origins of such patterns will help to identify the key factors influencing the extent of cloud cover over the ocean, determining regulatory mechanisms for perturbations such as global warming, and ultimately answering the question of whether clouds will increase or decrease global warming. We thank the supporting members very much for their generous support of this project.”

The program continued at DKRZ, where the supporting members visited the high-performance computer “Mistral” which is used for Earth system research. Finally, a joint lunch at MPI-M offered the supporting members the opportunity to inform themselves and exchange information with scientists of the institute about current research activities.

More information:

MPS – Supporting Members:


Prof Dr Bjorn Stevens
Director of department “The Atmosphere in the Earth System”
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Phone: +49 40 41173 422 (assistant Angela Gruber)
Email: bjorn.stevens@we dont want

Dr Ulrike Kirchner
Executive assistant of the directors & strategic planning
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Phone: +49 40 41173 235
Email: ulrike.kirchner@we dont want