A hierarchy of models is used in the department spanning global circulation, mesoscale regional, microscale flow and low-dimensional process models. Those models developed and maintained by the department are described here:


The KMCM (Kühlungsborn Mechanistic general Circulation Model) is a hydrostatic global circulation model that has been developed and designed for the particular scientific tasks at IAP: Simulation of the general circulation from the surface to the thermosphere with particular emphasis on dynamical interaction between different scales and altitude regions, as well as on physically consistent parameterization of unresolved scales. Compared to comprehensive climate models, the KMCM is idealized in some respects, as is expressed by the term 'mechanistic', but it is nevertheless highly specialized in other ways. The idealization usually means some qualitative simplification of processes that are not in the focus. Nevertheless, such processes are adjusted to be quantitatively realistic. (Contact: Erich Becker, Further information: KMCM homepage)


The MECTM (Mesospheric Chemistry Transport Model) simulates the transport and photochemistry of all relevant minor constituents in the mesosphere/lower thermosphere. Like the KMCM, the MECTM has been developed at IAP during the last 20 years. It can be driven with any meteorological data (winds and temperature) for the middle atmosphere. In recent years, the MECTM has been combined with the gravity-wave-resolving simulations performed with the KMCM. This enables to reveal the planetary-scale effects of mixing by mesoscale gravity waves on the photo-chemistry of the MLT. (Contact: Mikhailo Grygalashvyly)


The model ICON-IAP (ICOsahedral Nonhydrostatic model at IAP) is a non-hydrostatic circulation model based on a hexagonal C-grid on the sphere and adjustable to any regional geometry. Other versions of the ICON are presently being developed at the MPI for Meteorology and the German Weather Service. The ICON-IAP includes a unique discretization method for dynamics, tracer transport, as well as a mixing-length based subgrid-scale diffusion and frictional heating. These methods effectively avoid artificial numerical diffusion, which is a prerequisite for simulations of high-frequency gravity-wave dynamics from the lower troposphere up to the mesopause region. The model contains simple cloud microphysics and will be completed with a newly developed radiation scheme that is already used in the KMCM. (Contact: Almut Gassmann)