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Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Cologne


The “Rhenish Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Cologne (RIU)” is founded to support and perform environmental research in close collaboration with but not as part of the University of Cologne, while pursing both objectives, advancement of related sciences, and participation in scientific education. Scientific activities are financed by public and private funding, ranging from the German science foundation (DFG) to state environmental agencies. RIU is divided into two divisions: Atmospheric Research (EURAD group) and Planetary Research.

The Atmospheric Research group has now more than 25 years of experience regarding the development and application of chemistry-transport modeling. With the EURopean Air pollution Dispersion model EURAD and EURAD-IM (Inverse Model) air quality studies are performed and analyzed on local as well as Europe wide scales. Furthermore, the adjoint EURAD-IM is still one of the very few research models worldwide with chemical four dimensional variational data assimilation system for the troposphere, which could prove its beneficial effects for ozone and other constituent forecasts in case studies.

EURAD/EURAD-IM has been applied to boundary layer pollution, air traffic emissions and other effects of human activity as well as to natural hazards like volcano eruptions and wild fires and to the dispersion of pollen. New methods for atmospheric chemical data assimilation have been developed and applied.

Recent topical extensions include energy meteorology. Research activities include optimization of ensemble forecasts for wind and solar radiation, as well as irradiance forecasts based on optical properties of aerosols and clouds.

In the frame of different projects daily air quality forecasts are available on operational basis.