Brussels, 25 Apr 2006
A research institute in Leipzig, Germany, has become the first to create an artificial cloud in a laboratory.
The cloud was created at the Institute for Tropospheric Research (IfT), which was founded in 1992 to conduct research into the physical and chemical processes in the troposphere - the lowest layer of the earth's atmosphere, directly below the stratosphere.
The research should improve the accuracy of weather forecasts, in particular the forecasting of clouds and precipitation, but should also provide new information on the impacts of human activities on the climate.
Germany's Parliamentary Secretary of State in the Ministry for Education and Research, Thomas Rachel, described the new laboratory as a symbol of the competitiveness of research in Eastern Germany: The work of scientists in the former East Germany is at the very top of what is being done worldwide, he said.