The focus of the "Research Centre for Climate - Cryosphere and Atmosphere" is on the interactions between climate and cryosphere as well as any scientific research within any of these disciplines.

The Eastern Alps are historically rich in climate information and the University of Innsbruck is home to a wide range of world-leading expertise in atmospheric, cryospheric, biospheric, hydrospheric, chemical, geomorphodynamic, and palaeoclimate sciences. The Research Centre Climate – Cryosphere and Atmosphere combines this expertise through interdisciplinary research activities at the interface between the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere with focus on exchange processes and the dynamics of the climate system in mountainous areas over the full range of temporal and spatial scales. From the climate research perspective, mountains are most challenging by the complexity of their topography and hence the dynamic forcing of the atmosphere. Observing and modeling processes governing earth-atmosphere interactions plays a key role for

  • understanding the interaction of climate change with atmospheric composition and dynamics,

  • understanding the impact of mountainous terrain on large-scale atmospheric flows

  • understanding the nature and the behavior of glaciers as climate indicators and water reservoirs,

  • deciphering climate history in mountains from typical archives (e.g., reconstructed glaciers and permafrost, tree rings,  speleothems and lake sediments),

  • projecting future mountain climate as well as related impacts.

 The Alps, and particularly our field sites in the “backyard” of the Innsbruck University (e.g. Hintereisferner; the i-Box etc.), are an ideal laboratory for research, from which universal climate-relevant aspects of surface-atmosphere exchange in complex terrain can be inferred and transferred to other mountain ranges worldwide.