Research Facilities Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

The institute analyses changes and perturbations to the climate through complex Earth system models.

Aerial view of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

Max Planck Institute for Meteorology

The Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (‘Max-Planck-Institut für Meteorologie’ in German) is internationally renowned for climate research. Scientists at 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.

For that purpose, MPI-M develops and analyses sophisticated models of the Earth system. Targeted measurements and satellite observations complement the model simulations. The Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 was awarded to the founding director of the MPI-M, Klaus Hasselmann, for his outstanding achievements.

In collaboration with the Universität Hamburg and the CLICCS cluster of excellence, the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology jointly runs the International Max Planck Research School on Earth System Modelling (IMPRS-ESM) to promote high-quality doctoral research into the Earth’s climate system.


The Max Planck Institute has two main research departments, as well as two independent research groups. The research of the department ‘The Atmosphere in the Earth System’ focuses on understanding how atmospheric water conditions the behavior of the climate system. Scientists want to answer specific questions such as how cloud processes set the planetary albedo, how moist processes influence the structure of the troposphere, and how ‘water-powered’ circulation systems interact with the surface and the stratosphere.

The activities of the department ‘The Ocean in the Earth System’ span almost all aspects of the ocean's role in climate dynamics. These range from the mechanisms of ocean-climate dynamics and biogeochemistry over glacial-interglacial cycles, to the behaviour of the ocean meridional overturning circulation in a future world with enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations.

The Max Planck Institute is also home to independent research groups exploring a variety of climate issues, such as drivers of the tropical circulation, cloud-wave coupling or climate vegetation dynamics.

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