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.


On the way on 48000 feet. The expedition with POLSTRACC investigates the connection between climate change and the polar sphere. A KIT camera team accompanied the scientists in Kiruna / Sweden from the planning stage to the flight.

In the POLSTRACC campaign, KIT scientists, among others, investigate the influence of climate change on the polar stratosphere and the tropopause region. For their measurement flights they used the research aircraft HALO - a converted business jet with numerous measurement instruments on board.

Thomas Latzko is a mathematician. At KIT, he is doing his doctorate at the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research. On the POLSTRACC measurement campaign he is responsible for data evaluation of the GLORIA measurement instrument. He talks about his work and the special features of a campaign in the video.


For more information on the international coexistence and work at KIT, see issue 1.2106 of the online magazine clicKIT at

Other Videos

A stratospheric balloon with the infrared spectrometer GLORIA-B on board was launched last Tuesday, 23 August 2022, in Timmins, Canada. The aim of the mission by researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Forschungszentrum Jülich is to explore stratospheric air layers and to support the European Space Agency ESA in preparing satellite missions such as CAIRT and FORUM. The balloon rises up to 36 kilometres high in the atmosphere, where it has a diameter of around 100 metres.

Deaf in one ear? Does environmental policy listen enough to environmental science (14.12.2021)

The "Karlsruhe Environmental Impulses", a new series of the KIT Climate and Environment Center and the Environmental Foundation of the Sparkassenstiftung, started on 27 October 2021 with a virtual panel discussion. In the kick-off event "Deaf in one ear?", organised in cooperation with the KIT Academy for Responsible Research, Teaching, and Innovation (ARRTI), participants discussed the role of science in political decision-making and pros and cons of the Federal Constitutional Court's ruling on the Climate Protection Act. Participants in the event were: Peter Braesicke (climate scientist, KIT), Marieluise Beck (retired Member of the German Parliament), Rafaela Hillerbrand (philosopher of science, KIT), Dieter Lenzen (President of the University of Hamburg) and André Thess (energy scientist, University of Stuttgart).


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Digital Earth: Determining the methane release of the North Sea from 4D data sets (08.12.2020)

Digitalisation plays an important role in the sustainable development of our lives. The question of how it can actively drive this forward was addressed at the Digital Summit hosted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) at the beginning of December 2020, where KIT scientists and their partners from seven Helmholtz Centres presented the example project "Methane Budget of the North Sea". It is part of the "Digital Earth" project, whose goal is to expand previous concepts of scientific work through data-based methods.


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This film was produced with the support of the BMWi on the occasion of the Digital Summit 2020. Information:

Better air in China | Corona as an opportunity  (20.10.2020)

Dr Hendrik Andersen's research is close to what moves our society: corona lockdown, air quality, climate change and artificial intelligence. He is working on using machine learning to quantify how air quality has changed in China.



GSV2020 The NFDI4Earth journey (Peter Braesicke) (16.10.2020)

Earth System Science (ESS) is a wonderfully diverse field, covering different compartments of the Earth System (ES) and their complex interactions. Diverse observational systems, laboratory studies and a wide range of models are creating rapidly increasing amounts of data to enhance our perception and understanding of the ES, which we urgently require to sustainably manage our environment. In this context, Research Data Management (RDM) following FAIR principles is an important key to more efficient knowledge extraction from new and existing data. NFDI4Earth (, as a bottom-up RDM initiative, fosters FAIR RDM in the diverse ESS community as a methodological cross-cutting activity that integrates this diverse community closer together and enhances the potential for new interdisciplinary collaborations. The journey towards NFDI4Earth has already produced new perspectives for many participants. Peter Baesicke's personal perspective (presented here) is shaped by his background as a meteorologist, climate scientist and modeller with an interest in (mainly atmospheric) chemistry-climate interactions, where models are continuously confronted with observational evidence. In his context, RDM is an important component in making results easily comparable, traceable and to enable the provision of information to policy makers – with provenance across borders being important as well. NFDI4Earth – as a national initiative – is thus also an integral building part of international collaborations in ESS. The presentation briefly reviews the journey towards today’s NFDI4Earth and the opportunities and challenges we are facing in going beyond today’s state-of-the-art in interdisciplinary FAIR RDM. Building such a collaboration is obviously a team effort and the diversity in ESS is a tremendous opportunity to look at problems from different angles and finding common ground in methodological cross-cutting activities that will strengthen us as a research community for years to come. Thus, NFDI4Earth will be an indispensable component of the overall NFDI.

Effekte im August: Feind Ozonloch und das Klima isst mit (04.08.2020)

The hole in the ozone layer was once widened by the careless use of chlorofluorocarbons. It is not the only challenge in terms of climate change. There is a correlation between the ozone hole and the greenhouse effect, which is particularly visible in Antarctica - as a further element of regional climate change. Climate researcher Prof. Peter Braesicke from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology will present the developments. By choosing our food in the supermarket we leave an ecological footprint. Anne-Sophie Risse and Joy Mentgen from the Sustainability Laboratory at the University of Education Karlsruhe will show the connection between nutrition and climate change and how we can act in a climate-friendly way when shopping. Exciting scientific topics that affect us all - in an entertaining and understandable way - this year's EFFEKTE series 2020/2021 is all about the motto "Climate, Environment, Sustainability".



Prof. Dr. Peter Braesicke – Ozon(loch) und Klimawandel (03.06.2020)

The ozone hole is a sign of the Anthropocene. The strong seasonal decrease of stratospheric ozone - our UV protective layer - was caused by careless handling of CFCs. However, political decisions were then taken to counteract this - but even today we are still concerned about the ozone hole as a further element of man-made climate change. Lecture by Prof. Dr. Peter Braesicke from KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) for the Public Climate School in the summer semester 2020. The Public Climate School (PCS) is an open university for all people who want to learn more about climate justice. Scientists* from a wide range of disciplines organise exciting lectures, discussions and workshops.

Vortrag "Klimawandel: was wissen wir sicher?", Walldorf, 29.01.2020 (Teil 1)

Science is observing - understanding - predicting Getting an idea of things you cannot see

Vortrag "Klimawandel: was wissen wir sicher?", Walldorf, 29.01.2020 (Teil 2)

Part 2

Mensch | Macht | Klima" – ITAS-Themenabend technik.kontrovers (30.09.2019)

Whether travelling or shopping, living or leisure activities - almost all activities of our everyday life release greenhouse gases and aggravate the climate crisis. Can we as individuals do something to stop this threat? What would be alternatives to reduce our CO2 footprint? And how could they best be integrated into our daily lives? Scientists discussed these questions with the audience at the theme evening "People | Power | Climate. Climate-friendly everyday life - is that possible?" on Tuesday, 17 September at 6 pm at the Institute of Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS). The event provided insights into life cycle analysis. The method allows the environmental impact of individual products to be determined precisely. With its help, we will embark on a journey through our everyday life to find out which everyday activities are associated with which greenhouse gas emissions. The guests also learned more about the project "Dare to protect the climate together! - a project which, together with people in Karlsruhe, designs and implements self-experiments for a climate-friendly everyday life and trains climate coaches as multipliers for civil society commitment in the field of climate protection. The theme evening also provided insights into the regional dimension of climate change and presented a climate protection success story on which to build: The global ban on fluorocarbons and the associated recovery of the ozone layer.


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Unsrer Erde wird es zu heiß – aber warum? (07.08.2017)

Lecturer: Prof. Dr. Peter Braesicke | Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research - Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing


Lecture recording: KIT | WEBCAST

Vom Wetter zum Klima: Fernerkundung der Atmosphäre (Prof. Dr. Johannes Orphal) (01.07.2016)

Prof. Dr. Johannes Orphal, former head of the Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Atmospheric Trace Gases and Remote Sensing at the KIT, talks in his lecture "From Weather to Climate: Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere" about the importance of the atmosphere and explains why it is important to study it. He also deals with aspects of climate change and weather observations from space and ventures a look into the future. The event "KIT im Rathaus" coordinated by ZAK | Center for Applied Cultural Studies and Studium Generale took place on 22 June 2016.


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Kinderuni: Was ist in der Atmosphäre los? (06.09.2010)

For the fourth lecture of the KIT Children's University 2010, the young researchers drove to the Research Center to learn more about lightning, air, and clouds. They eagerly followed the German-French lecture of the atmospheric researcher.

COMMITMENT FOR CLIMATE RESEARCH - Flying measuring laboratory has already circumnavigated the earth 85 times

Lufthansa Airbus has been collecting extensive data for the European research project CARIBIC for 15 years. 120 research institutes worldwide use the data collected at cruising altitude.