The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M) is an internationally renowned institute for climate research. Its mission is to understand Earth's changing climate.


The MPI-M comprises three departments and, together with the Opens external link in current windowUniversity of Hamburg, an international PhD program:

The Atmosphere in the Earth System

The Land in the Earth System
The Ocean in the Earth System


In addition the institute hosts independent research groups focused on the following topics:


Scientists at the MPI-M investigate what determines the sensitivity of the Earth system to perturbations such as the changing composition of its atmosphere, and work toward establishing the sources and limits of predictability within the Earth system. MPI-M develops and analyses sophisticated models of the Earth system, which simulate the processes within atmosphere, land and ocean. Such models have developed into important tools for understanding the behaviour of our climate, and they form the basis for international assessments of climate change. Targeted in-situ measurements and satellite observations complement the model simulations.


Together with several other non-university research institutions the MPI-M and the University of Hamburg constitute Opens external link in current windowCliSAP, a centre of excellence for climate research and education in Hamburg, Germany.

Focus on

Arctic amplification

Climate change is amplified in the Arctic region relative to the global mean. Arctic amplification has been found in past warm and glacial climates, as well as in historical simulations. The phenomenon is often explained by retreating snow and ice leading to more solar surface warming (surface albedo feedback).

In this contribution, Dr. Felix Pithan and Dr. Thorsten Mauritsen at Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, department "The Atmosphere in the Earth System", analyse results obtained from the CMIP5 archive quantifying the relative contributions to Arctic and tropical temperature change showing that contrasts in temperature feedbacks dominate over surface albedo feedback in models. This is due both to a bottom-heavy vertical structure of warming and generally lower temperatures in the Arctic. Read more