INAR celebrates its official opening

The Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research INAR brings researchers together across disciplinary boundaries with a clear objective: better air for all. INAR’s official opening ceremony will be held on 25 May at Think Corner.

How large must a forest be to generate clouds on its own? And how much does air temperature cool down when these clouds reflect sunbeams back to space? These are among the issues under investigation by the researchers at the INAR institute.

“We know that decreasing emissions alone will not be enough to curb climate change. In addition, the scale of carbon sinks must be increased. They are still not understood well enough,” says Docent Anna Lintunen, secretary of INAR.

Indeed, at the core of the research conducted at the institute is the interaction between the Earth’s surface and its atmosphere. INAR began operating at the beginning of the year, with currently about a hundred research projects ongoing in both Finland and abroad.

Among the research topics of INAR researchers are the factors impacting the interaction of the ground and atmosphere in forests, lake regions, fields, swamps and urban areas, as well as the effect of all this on the temperature of our climate.

INAR is also expanding its research into the social sciences. With their partners, researchers aim to understand how society can check climate change and what kind of legislation is required.

“The problems are multidisciplinary, which makes it necessary for the solutions to also cross the boundaries between scientific disciplines,” says Lintunen.

See the particles you inhale

On Friday, 25 May, INAR is celebrating its official opening with a day-long festival held at Think Corner.

During the open festival, researchers from the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research will introduce their research fields. During the Get to know Atmospheric and Earth System Research session, which kicks off the festivities, you can eat breakfast with a researcher and find out how weather forecasts are actually made or what it’s like to study in the Master’s and Doctoral Programmes in Atmospheric Sciences.

Sometimes it’s best to talk about climate change in the language of art, not science. Or even better, using a combination of both. During Art with INAR Scientists, artists will make climate change accessible through music, dance and visual arts. Artist Josefina Nelimarkka will bring with her a work based on 3D modelling that depicts particle emissions measured in the skies of Helsinki.

“Art offers us new perspectives on climate change, ones we would not otherwise even think of,” notes Laura Riuttanen, a postdoctoral researcher at INAR.

Secrets of the biosphere revealed

If you only have time enough for one session, Science in the air in the afternoon describes the Institute’s research activities in a nutshell. INAR Director Markku Kulmala will describe how Finland has climbed to the global top in atmospheric research, while junior researchers will introduce the complex interaction between the biosphere and atmosphere, as well as its impact on global warming.

In the evening, you have an opportunity to join the After work with INAR scientists to find out about the reality of conducting atmospheric measurements in Antarctica, Greenland, Bolivia, the Himalayas and the Amazon rain forest.

The INAR Climate Festival programme is available here.


What is INAR?
  • The Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research INAR is a research unit of the University of Helsinki led by Academician Markku Kulmala.
  • Research and teaching at INAR are based on physics, chemistry, meteorology, forest sciences, environmental sciences and social sciences.
  • INAR is strengthening atmospheric and environmental research nationally and internationally, while producing scientific knowledge for the purposes of society.
  • Researchers at the Institute are conducting research on both the molecular and global scale, particularly on climate change, air quality, biogeochemical cycles and ecosystem processes.
  • INAR’s Finnish partners include the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the University of Eastern Finland and Tampere University of Technology.