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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 Upper Atmosphere ICOsahedral Non-hydrostatic (UA-ICON) general circulation model is the upward extension of ICON to the upper mesosphere and lower thermosphere (MLT). The model has been jointly developed by the German Weather Service (DWD) and the Max Planck Institute of Meteorology (MPI-M). The model extends from the surface up to 150 km and provides a non-hydrostatic dynamical core with a grid nesting option. These features recommend UA-ICON for studies of the dynamics and vertical coupling of atmospheric layers up until the MLT. Therefore, IAP has implemented UA-ICON and validates, applies, and develops it further. The targets of investigation are planetary and gravity waves, tidal and solar activity, as well as tracer-dynamics interaction, which are also in the focus of the institute’s observational programme. We aim to use UA-ICON for studies of the long-term global circulation, high-resolution regional events and idealized processes. (Contact: Claudia Stolle)


The KMCM (Kühlungsborn Mechanistic general Circulation Model) is a hydrostatic global circulation model developed and designed for the particular scientific tasks at IAP: Simulation of the general circulation from the surface to the thermosphere with special emphasis on dynamical interaction between different scales and altitude regions, and the physically consistent parameterization of unresolved scales. Compared to comprehensive climate models, it is idealized in some respects, as expressed by the term 'mechanistic'. Nevertheless, such processes are adjusted to be quantitatively realistic. KMCM is used to analyze the dynamics of the middle atmosphere up to about 130 km and includes the capability of nudging. (Contact: Urs Schaefer-Rolffs, Further information: KMCM homepage)


The Chemistry Transport Model of the Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics (CTM-IAP) has been developed at IAP over the last 25 years. It simulates the advective, molecular and turbulent diffusive transport, and the photochemistry of all relevant minor chemical constituents in the upper stratosphere–mesosphere-lower thermosphere. Additionally it has modules for the simulation of airglow from OH*, O2(b1Σg+), O(1S), and a simplified plasma chemistry of D- and E-regions. It can be driven by wind and temperature fields for the middle atmosphere from dynamical models or meteorological analyses. CTM-IAP is used to study effects of planetary waves, gravity waves, sudden stratospheric warmings, 11-year solar cycle, and anthropogenic changes on the photo-chemistry and airglow of the mesopause region. (Contact: Mykhaylo Grygalashvyly)