Atmospheric Environment



Atmospheric Environment is dedicated to study the interaction between the atmosphere and the natural and the human made world. The focus is on direct and indirect effects on functioning and stability of terrestrial ecosystems, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases and reactive gases and particles, and on the effects of toxic components of the atmosphere on plant growth and human health. The research includes important feedbacks between the terrestrial biosphere and the global climate.

Scientific topics in focus:

  • Global climate change
  • Air pollution
  • Ecosystem services and resilience


Thomas Højlund Christensen
Head of Department
DTU Environment
+45 45 25 16 03



Global climate change

Quantification of biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases, feedback mechanisms between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere, and studies of the effects of climate change on the functioning, productivity, and carbon sequestration potential of terrestrial ecosystems.

Air pollution

Quantification of vegetation
uptake of gaseous pollutants (e.g. tropospheric ozone) and determination of effects in combination with environmental parameters e.g. increased temperature. Quantification of anthropogenic particle sources (wood stoves, road traffic & ships) for determination of potential health effects.

Ecosystem services and resilience

Observation and modeling of the anthropogenic
influence on terrestrial ecosystems with the goal of maintaining their services for humankind such as climate and air quality regulation, water, food, energy, etc. Apply knowledge of ecosystem resource efficiency to design industrial symbioses.

Project Example


Plants and Greenhouse Gasses - New Unaccounted Plant Sources

By Teis Nørgaard Mikkelsen, Teis Nørgaard Mikkelsen, DTU Enviroment

"Skoven som kulstoflager i et ændret klima" ved Kim Pilegaard, Professor, DTU Kemiteknik

Skove optager store mængder kuldioxid fra atmosfæren gennem fotosyntese. En del af kulstoffet bindes i vedmasse og jord. Derved modvirker skovene de globale klimaændringer. En lille ændring i træernes vækstbetingelser kan dog forskyde den hårfine balance betydeligt. Professor Kim Pilegaard fra DTU Kemiteknik giver et indblik i skovenes kulstofbalance, og hvordan den kan påvirkes af fremtidens klima.
22 JANUARY 2018