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JOYCE - Jülich ObservatorY for Cloud Evolution



JOYCE is a unique site for cloud and rain observation. Although we encounter clouds daily, their spatial structure as well as their interior (the so-called microphysics) are subject to ongoing research. When, where, and under which atmospheric conditions cloud formation occurs is a major challenge for current weather and climate prediction models. However, it is the very presence of clouds which determines whether precipitation can form and whether the Earth's surface warms or cools. Be sure to watch our You-Tube-Video "How does a cloud form?"

JOYCE aims at investigating the processes leading to cloud formation and cloud evolution. To this end, various instruments are currently set up at and around the Research Centre Jülich, in order to continuously monitor water vapour, clouds, and precipitation over many years. Only such observations will eventually make it possible to improve the prediction of clouds by weather and climate models.

The JOYCE instruments enable to determine the properties of clouds from the ground, i.e., without having to fly through them. By transmitting and receiving radiation at various wave lengths (optical, infra-red, microwave), information on spatial extent, water content, drop size, etc. can be obtained. The most important JOYCE instruments can be rotated in all spatial directions, thereby gaining an impression of the three dimensional structure of clouds.

JOYCE is embedded in the DFG Sonderforschungsbereich Transregio32 Patterns in Soil-Vegetation-Atmosphere Systems - Monitoring, modelling and data assimilation of the Universities of Aachen, Bonn, Köln, and the Research Centre Jülich. Overall goal is an improved understanding of the interactions between soil, vegetation, and atmosphere through spatially and temporally highly resolved measurements and through modelling of the crucial processes.

Nationally, JOYCE is a registered DFG Research Infrastructure and has recently (beginning of 2016) been funded as a DFG Core Facility ("Gerätezentrum") in order to professionally manage user access to JOYCE instruments, observation data and scientific expertise. More information will be available soon via this website.

Internationally, JOYCE is a Cloudnet observatory embedded within the European Horizon2020 Research Infrastructure ACTRIS-2. In March 2016 the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) officially adopted ACTRIS (Aerosols, Clouds, and Trace gases Research Infrastructure) on its updated research infrastructure roadmap.