Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg

Greenhouse Gases and Water Isotopes


The main interest of the team is to investigate the cycle of atmospheric water and greenhouse gases such as CO2, CH4 and N2O. Through the study of atmospheric concentrations and isotopic composition of the above trace gases the group searches for a quantification of sources and sinks and atmospheric transport pathways. This is done through accurate atmospheric measurements on local to regional scales, including punctuated studies of sources and sinks. Further, radioactive tracers of atmospheric transport are used and physical processes steering isotope fractionation during the transport and transformation of water and atmospheric trace gases are studied. Moreover, conceptual transport models are developed. The group is involved in the verification of greenhouse gas emissions in cooperation with its international partners.


  • The methane goes mobile research training network has started. Find out about its news on our activities at

    New publications in 2017:

  • Ventrillard, Irčne & Xueref-Remy, Irčne & Schmidt, Martina & Yver, Camille & Faďn, Xavier & Romanini, Daniele. (2017). Comparison of optical-feedback cavity-enhanced absorption spectroscopy and gas chromatography for ground-based and airborne measurements of atmospheric CO concentration. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques. 10. 1803-1812. 10.5194/amt-10-1803-2017. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques
  • Bergamaschi, P & Karstens, Ute & J. Manning, A & Saunois, M & Tsuruta, Aki & Berchet, Antoine & Vermeulen, Alex & Arnold, Tim & Janssens-Maenhout, G & Hammer, Samuel & Levin, Iosif & Schmidt, Martina & Ramonet, Michel & Lopez, M & Lavrič, Jošt & Aalto, Tuula & Chen, Huilin & Feist, Dietrich & Gerbig, C & Dlugokencky, E. (2017). Inverse modelling of European CH4 emissions during 2006-2012 using different inverse models and reassessed atmospheric observations. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss.. 2017. 1-23. 10.5194/acp-2017-273. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

Group members

  • Martina Schmidt

    Institute of Environmental Physics
    Im Neuenheimer Feld 229
    Phone +49 (0)6221-54-5481

  • Present team members:

  • Antje Hoheisel, PhD Student
  • Piotr Korben, PhD Student
  • Henrik, Eckhardt, Master Student
  • Ellis King, Master Student
  • Nicole, Büttner, HiWi

  • Former team members:

  • Johannes Gry, (Master student)
  • Elisabeth Zepf, (Master student)
  • Florian Dinger, (Master student) now PhD student at MPI Mainz and IUP Heidelberg
  • Christiane Yeman, (Master student) now Phd student at ETH Zuerich
  • David Leinfelder, (Master student)
  • Simone Wald, (Bachelor student)

Open positions

Presently we seek Bachelor and Master students for studies of water isotopes, its sources and its fundamental physical fractionation processes. Also students with study goal as higher eduction teacher (Staatsexamen) are highly welcome.

Key Publications


A full publication list can be viewed on researchGate Link to ResearchGate


Our water isotope setup to study the dynamic of the rain isotopic composition in Heidelberg and to follow the evolution of the water vapor isotope composition.

The mobile methane isotope cavity ring down spectrometer with which we search to understand the punctuated local emission of the greenhouse gas methan from various sources.



Environmental Physics
Journal Club Environmental Physics

Environmental Physics

EDV and Statistics (Earth Sciences)
Statistics with R (Earth Sciences)
Environmental Physics (Carbon dioxide and other Tracegases)




To investigate the composition of the atmosphere and to study water vapor and precipitation we use tunable laser spectrometers and mass spectrometry. Data evaluation is based on atmospheric transport and gaussian plume models and programming in 'R'.




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