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Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Heidelberg
Native name
Institut für Umweltphysik, Universität Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 229
+ 49 6221 54-63 50
+ 49 6221 54-64 05
Centre Website

organisation profile

In Heidelberg, environmental physics continuously developed since the 1950s from the application of nuclear physics methods to environmental research, mainly driven by Otto Haxel. In 1975, this led to the foundation of the Institut für Umweltphysik (Institute of Environmental Physics), the first of its kind in Germany, in the Fakultät für Physik und Astronomie with Karl-Otto Münnich as its founding director.
From the start, the IUP focused on the underlying physics of a wide spectrum of environmental processes and less on specific applications in atmospheric sciences, soil sciences, hydrology, or oceanography. This turned out to be a major strength and it continues to distinguish the IUP from other large environmental research institutes. With this focus, the IUP attains great flexibility in its methods and is able to provide an environment where classical divisions between systems and disciplines can be overcome. For instance, we investigate boundary layers between compartments which determine the soil-atmosphere and ocean-atmosphere interactions. This direction of research is also adopted by large international programs, like the International Geosphere Biosphere Project (IGBP), which in recent times focus increasingly on investigation of interaction between compartments of the Earth system. With its firm rooting in physics, the IUP sees itself in an excellent position to recognize and investigate system properties of our environment and the interplay of its subsystems (atmosphere, cryosphere, soil, groundwater, oceans, ...).

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edmo metadata

EDMO record id
Collating centre
German Oceanographic Datacentre (DOD)
Latest update
9 August 2010 5:48:48 PM