Climate processes in polar regions

Research at the department of Environmental Meteorology, University of Trier

To better understand climate change in the polar regions and improve climate models, it is important to study interactions between the atmosphere, ice, and ocean. The exchange of energy and momentum at these interfaces is a key process in the polar climate system because it influences sea ice formation and transport, wind systems, and drives the ocean circulation. Over the polar oceans, this exchange is strongly modulated by sea ice. Therefore, remote sensing of sea ice and the integration of sea ice in climate models are of high relevance for our research. This is complemented by field studies, which were performed mainly in the Antarctic, Greenland and the Siberian Arctic.

Research questions

  • How is the atmospheric boundary layer influenced by sea ice leads?
  • Which processes are important for sea ice leads?
  • How does the polar boundary layer change under climate change?
  • How can climate processes in polar regions be better represented in climate models?


  • Satellite remote sensing of sea ice
  • Regional climate modeling
  • Field experiments

Responsible persons

Prof. Dr. Günther Heinemann, Environmental Meteorology, University of Trier

Dr. Sascha Willmes, Environmental Meteorology, University of Trier

Dr. Clemens Drüe, Environmental Meteorology, University of Trier

Projects we participate in


Changing Arctic Transpolar System


Regional high-resolution Downscaling of Climate Change in the Antarctic


Patterns and Drivers of Southern Ocean Sea Ice Dynamics


Circum-Antarctic sea-ice lead frequencies and regional characteristics from satellite data


Modelling the impact of sea-ice leads on the atmospheric boundary layer during MOSAiC