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Talk by Prof. Thomas Peter

The Mystery of Tiny Aerosol Particles and Their Role in Climate
Climate Change Night with ETH Zurich Professor Thomas Peter

Between the Earth’s surface and more than 100 km altitude the atmosphere contains very small particles consisting of solution droplets or solid dust particles.  While greenhouse gases warm the planet, these particulates lead to cooling, either directly by scattering the sun light or via their impact on clouds.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) specifies anthropogenic changes in these aerosol particles as counteracting anthropogenic greenhouse warming by about 40 %. However, uncertainties of this effect are very large, presently limiting the reliability of climate predictions.  
Join us for a presentation on this interesting topic by Professor Thomas Peter from ETH Zurich's Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science!

When: Thursday January 17th, 2013  6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Where: swissnex Boston420 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138

Thomas Peter has been Full Professor for Atmospheric Chemistry at the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science since January 1999. Born in 1958 in Marburg, Germany, he studied physics at the University of Marburg, the Technical University of Munich and the University of Maryland. In 1988 he received his PhD for theoretical work in the field of heavy-ion induced inertial confinement fusion, which he performed at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich. In 1990 he changed to the Atmospheric Chemistry Department of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, where he became in 1995 the leader of the group for heterogeneous chemistry and microphysics of atmospheric aerosols. In the same year he was appointed coordinator of the POLECAT aerosol project of the German Ozone Research Programme and member of the steering committee of the high-flying aircraft "Geophysica". He served multiply as co-author on international scientific assessments on the development of the stratospheric ozone layer. Since 1997 he has been a member of the scientific steering group of the World Climate Research Programme SPARC and, since 1998, member of the Academia Europaea. With his group Thomas Peter performs fundamental research on chemical reactions and physical processes of aerosol particles including their interactions with the gas phase chemistry of the atmosphere. His group works experimentally, using laboratory experiments on the thermodynamics and kinetics of individual trapped aerosol particles or particle ensembles under atmospheric conditions, as well as theoretically and using physico-chemical models to investigate the microscale aerosol processes and their effects on atmospheric chemistry regionally or globally. His group further participates in field campaigns and long term measurements, including the worlds longest ozone time series in Arosa/Schweiz.