Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research

The HALO aircraft campaign SouthTRAC with GLORIA on board has been conducted in two phases in September and November 2019, covering the late winter and spring season of the Southern Hemisphere (SH). HALO, which was stationed in Rio Grande/Tierra del Fuego returned to Germany between both phases. Major research themes are: coupling processes at the SH tropopause, gravity waves in the SH, impact of the Antarctic vortex on the SH-UTLS, and biomass burning and transport of biogenic emissions in the southern Atlantic upper troposphere.

Videos - SouthTRAC

For the SouthTRAC airplane measurement campaign, a KIT team and other partners took off for Tierra del Fuego at the end of 2019 and focused on the so far little explored southern atmosphere. The aim: to investigate its effects on climate change. Dr. Björn-Martin Sinnhuber from the Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing (IMK-ASF) coordinated the second part of the campaign. Here, the scientific focus was on gravity waves at the southern tip of America and over Antarctica. They influence the stability of the stratospheric polar vortex surrounding the ozone hole and play a decisive role in the chemical processes leading to the formation of the Antarctic ozone hole. It was precisely these processes that the Karlsruhe climate researchers investigated in the second campaign phase, which started in November: "We are particularly interested in the air masses that sink from the Antarctic ozone hole, transport climate-relevant trace gases and thus influence the composition of the upper layers of the atmosphere," says Sinnhuber.


The research aircraft HALO (High Altitude and Long Range Research Aircraft), which was in operation during the campaign, can fly up to 15 kilometres high and load various measuring instruments, depending on the research requirements. For SouthTRAC the KIT operated three of the 13 instruments on board. Scientists from KIT, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Research Center Jülich (FZJ), and the Universities of Frankfurt, Mainz, Wuppertal, and Heidelberg were involved.

The aircraft measurement campaign SouthTRAC led a KIT team with further partners to Argentina at the end of 2019 to investigate the so far little explored southern atmosphere and its effects on climate change. In this video they tell what a day on such a measurement campaign looks like and what exactly the scientists are doing.

GLORIA is the abbreviation for "Gimballed Limb Observer for Radiance Imaging of the Atmosphere". Behind the complicated name is an infrared camera. It breaks down the heat radiation emitted by the atmospheric gases into its spectral colours. This enables these gases and their large-scale movements to be imaged very accurately. GLORIA was jointly developed at Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and was used in the SouthTRAC aircraft measurement campaign, among other things. Here the team that worked with GLORIA in this campaign in Argentina is introduced.