№ 231/2012 from Aug 22, 2012
A research group based at Freie Universität Berlin that studies changes in the stratosphere and their impact on the climate system will continue to be funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) for another three years. As announced by the DFG, the project “Stratospheric Change and Its Role for Climate Prediction” (SHARP) will receive grants amounting to 2.27 million euros during the second funding phase lasting until 2015. The group includes researchers from the universities of Bremen, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt am Main, as well as the DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, KIT Karlsruhe, and the Max Plank Institutes of Meteorology and Chemistry. The project coordinator is the professor of meteorology, Professor Ulrike Langematz, from Freie Universität Berlin.
The stratosphere is the layer of the atmosphere above the troposphere. The researchers in this group are taking a closer look at stratospheric ozone, water vapor as a climate-relevant trace gas, changes in stratospheric circulation, and coupling processes between the stratosphere and troposphere.
During the new funding period the scientists will particularly focus on the long-term effects of climate change on the stratosphere and the resulting influences on the climate, weather, and air quality near the Earth’s surface. For this purpose, new observation data sets will be examined and more emphasis will be placed on investigating the interactions with the oceans.
Last year, scientists working in this research group found that chlorofluorocarbon substances have a lasting impact on the ozone layer. The analyses thus far suggest that despite a recovery of the ozone layer in the coming years, massive ozone losses can be expected for a certain period of time in the future. Especially in years with cold polar winters, a marked degradation of the ozone layer can be expected in the following spring. This was observed both in the Antarctic and over the northern hemisphere.