Team » Jan Cermak
Jan Cermak

Prof. Dr. Jan Cermak

At RUB from 10/2011 to 8/2016.

Now at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research and

Institute of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

ORCID: 0000-0002-4240-595X

ResearcherID: B-7844-2009



Research areas

  • The role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system
  • Atmospheric remote sensing (e.g. water cycle)
  • Environment - society interactions (e.g. air pollution/aerosol)
  • Boundary-layer meteorology, including fog dynamics and effects

More information

CV and Activities

Education and Employment

  • 7 - 9/2012: Visiting scientist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Boulder, CO, USA
  • Since 10/2011: Professor of Climatology (W2) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • 2010/2011: Offers of professorships at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (W2), Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (W2), Universität Bayreuth (W2), and Universität Leipzig (W1)
  • 2008 - 2011: Post-doctoral researcher at ETH Zurich, Switzerland
  • 8 - 10/2007: Visiting scientist, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 2006 - 2008: Lecturer at Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
  • 2003 - 2006: PhD research, Laboratory for Climatology and Remote Sensing, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
  • 2002 - 2003: Postgraduate research at the University of Sheffield, UK
  • 2001 - 2002: MA Environment and Development, King's College London (KCL) and School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London, UK
  • 1997 - 2001: Studies of Geography, Botany, Political Science and Soil Science, Philipps-Universität Marburg and Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany

Professional Activities, Services and Society Memberships

  • AK Klima (German climatology working group), chair
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU), member
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU), member
  • Session "Analyzing climate change and its impacts via method combinations", International Geographical Congress 2012, organizer
  • RSCy 2013 conference, member of the International Scientific Committee
  • Senate commission of the DFG (German research council) on joint research in the geosciences (Geokommission), permanent guest, and speaker of young scientist group (, 2007 to 2011
  • EU COST action 722 (Very short-range forecasting of fog, visibility and low clouds), management committee and co-chair of working group 'Initial Data', 2003 to 2007
  • EU COST action EG-CLIMET (European Ground-Based Observations of Essential Variables for Climate and Operational Meteorology), member of working group 'Optimum observation strategies'
  • Session "Remote sensing of clouds and aerosols: Techniques and applications", EGU General Assemblies 2009 - 2015, convenor and co-convenor

Peer-reviewed Publications


  • Lehner M., Whiteman C. D., Hoch S. W., Crosman E. T., Jeglum M. E., Cherukuru N. W., Calhoun R., Adler B., Kalthoff N., Rotunno R., Horst T. W., Semmer S., Brown W. O. J., Oncley S. P., Vogt R., Grudzielanek A. M., Cermak J.Fonteyne N. J., Bernhofer C., Pitacco A.Klein P. (2016): The METCRAX II field experiment—A study of downslope windstorm-type flows in Arizona’s Meteor Crater, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 97(2), 217-235, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-14-00238.1
  • Thies B., Nauss T., Reudenbach C., Cermak J. & Bendix J. (2016) Mean Number of Storm Days. In Mauser, W. & Prasch, M. (Eds.), Regional Assessment of Global Change Impacts - The GLOWA-Danube Project (pp. 271–277). Berlin: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16751-0_34


  • Grudzielanek A. M., Cermak J. (2015): Capturing cold-air flow using thermal imaging, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 157 (2), 321-332. doi:10.1007/s10546-015-0042-8
  • Fuchs J., Cermak J. (2015): Where Aerosols Become Clouds - Potential for Global Analysis Based on CALIPSO Data, Remote Sensing, 7(4), 4178-4190, doi:10.3390/rs70404178
  • Flake S., Cermak J., Sprenger S. (2015): Authentizität beim Lernen - Eine empirische Untersuchung zur Vermittlung des globalen Klimawandels im Geographieunterricht, Zeitschrift für Geographiedidaktik, 43(3), 233-254.
  • Andersen H., Cermak J. (2015): How thermodynamic environments control stratocumulus microphysics and interactions with aerosols, Environmental Research Letters, 10, 024004, doi:10.1088/1748-9326/10/2/024004
  • Gultepe I., Zhou B., Milbrandt J., Bott A., Li Y., Heymsfield A.J., Ferrier B., Ware R., Pavolonis M., Kuhn T., Gurka J., Liu P., Cermak J. (2015) A review on ice fog measurements and modeling, Atmospheric Research, 151, 2-19. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2014.04.014


  • Schaller N., Cermak J., Wild M., Knutti R. (2013) The sensitivity of the modeled energy budget and hydrological cycle to CO2 and solar forcing, Earth Syst. Dynam., 4, 253-266. doi: 10.5194/esd-4-253-2013.


  • Schulz H. M., Thies B., Cermak J., Bendix J. (2012) 1 km fog and low stratus detection using pan-sharpened MSG SEVIRI data, Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 5, 2469-2480. doi:10.5194/amt-5-2469-2012.
  • Gultepe I., Bendix J., Klemm O., Eugster W., Cermak J. (2012) Fog and dew observations and modeling: Introduction, Pure and Applied Geophysics 169 (5-6), 765-766. doi:10.1007/s00024-012-0471-y
  • de Leeuw G., Kokhanovsky A. A., Cermak J. (2012) Remote sensing of aerosols and clouds: Techniques and applications, Atmospheric Research, 113, 40-42. doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2012.04.017.
  • Cermak J. (2012) Low Clouds and Fog Along the South-Western African Coast - Satellite-Based Retrieval and Spatial Patterns, Atmospheric Research, 116, 15-21. PDF (968KB). doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2011.02.012. Data available online at doi:10.1594/PANGAEA.755427.


  • Haensler A., Cermak J., Hagemann S., Jacob D. (2011) Will the southern African west coast fog be affected by future climate change? Erdkunde, 65, 261-275. doi:10.3112/erdkunde.2011.03.04.
  • Cermak J., Bendix J. (2011) Detecting Ground Fog From Space - A Microphysics-Based Approach, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 32, 12, 3345-3371. PDF (548KB). doi:10.1080/01431161003747505.
  • Schaller N., Mahlstein I., Cermak J., Knutti R. (2011) Analyzing precipitation projections: A comparison of different approaches to climate model evaluation. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, D10118. doi:10.1029/2010JD014963.
  • Merk C., Cermak J., Bendix J. (2011) Retrieval of optical and microphysical cloud properties from Meteosat SEVIRI Data at night - A feasibility study based on radiative transfer calculations. Remote Sensing Letters, 2, 4, 357-366. doi:10.1080/01431161.2010.523023.


  • Mätzler C., Rosenkranz P., Cermak J. (2010) Microwave absorption of supercooled clouds and implications for the dielectric properties of water. Journal of Geophysical Research, 115, D23208. doi:10.1029/2010JD014283.
  • Cermak J., Wild M., Knutti R., Mishchenko M. I., Heidinger A. K. (2010) Consistency of global satellite-derived aerosol and cloud data sets with recent brightening observations. Geophysical Research Letters, 37, L21704. PDF (3.2MB). doi:10.1029/2010GL044632
  • Knutti R., Furrer R., Tebaldi C., Cermak J., Meehl G. A. (2010) Challenges in combining projections from multiple climate models, Journal of Climate, 23, 2739-2758. doi:10.1175/2009JCLI3361.1


  • Cermak J, Eastman R. M., Bendix J, Warren S. G. (2009) European climatology of fog and low stratus based on geostationary satellite observations. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 135, 645, 2125-2130. PDF (809KB). doi:10.1002/qj.503
  • Cermak J., Knutti R. (2009) Beijing Olympics as an Aerosol Field Experiment. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L10806. PDF (224KB) doi:10.1029/2009GL038572
  • Bendix J., Trachte K., Cermak J., Rollenbeck R., Nauss T. (2009) Formation of convective clouds at the foothills of the tropical eastern Andes (South Ecuador). Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 48, 8, 1682-1695. doi:10.1175/2009JAMC2078.1


  • Cermak J., Bendix J., Dobbermann M. (2008) FMet - An Integrated Framework for Meteosat Data Processing for Operational Scientific Applications. Computers and Geosciences, 34, 11, 1638-1644. PDF (459 KB). doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2007.12.006
  • Cermak J., Bendix J. (2008) A Novel Approach to Fog/Low Stratus Detection Using Meteosat 8 Data. Atmospheric Research, 87, 3-4, 279-292. PDF (1.3MB). doi:10.1016/j.atmosres.2007.11.009


  • Cermak J., Bendix J. (2007) Dynamical Nighttime Fog/Low Stratus Detection Based on Meteosat SEVIRI Data - A Feasibility Study. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 164, 1179-1192. PDF (516KB). doi:10.1007/s00024-007-0213-8
  • Gultepe I., Tardif R., Michaelides S. C., Cermak J., Bott A., Bendix J., Müller M. D., Pagowski M., Hansen B., Ellrod G., Jacobs W., Toth, G., Cober, S. G. (2007) Fog Research: A Review of Past Achievements and Future Perspectives. Pure and Applied Geophysics, 164, 1121-1159. doi:10.1007/s00024-007-0211-x
  • Miehe G., Miehe S., Schlütz F., Opgenoorth L., Cermak J., Samiya R., Jäger E. J., Wesche K. (2007) Mountain forest islands and Holocene environmental changes in Central Asia: A case study from the southern Gobi Altay, Mongolia. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 250: 150–166. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2007.03.022


  • Cermak J., Schneebeli M., Nowak D., Vuilleumier L., Bendix J. (2006) Characterization of Low Clouds With Satellite and Ground-Based Remote Sensing Systems. Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 15, 65-72. PDF (920KB). doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0100
  • Bendix J., Rollenbeck R., Göttlicher D., Cermak J. (2006) Cloud Occurrence and Cloud Properties in Ecuador. Climate Research, 30, 133-147. doi:10.3354/cr030133
  • Bendix J., Thies B., Nauss T., Cermak J. (2006) A Feasibility Study of Daytime Fog and Low Stratus Detection with TERRA/AQUA-MODIS Over Land. Meteorological Applications, 13 , 111-125. doi:10.1017/S1350482706002180


  • Bendix J., Thies B., Cermak J., Nauss T. (2005) Ground Fog Detection From Space Based on MODIS Daytime Data - A Feasibility Study. Weather and Forecasting, 20, 989-1005. doi:10.1175/WAF886.1
  • Nauss T., Cermak J., Kokhanovsky A. A., Reudenbach C., Bendix J. (2005) Satellite-Based Retrieval of Cloud Properties and Their Use in Rainfall Retrievals and Fog Detection. Photogrammetrie - Fernerkundung – Geoinformation, 3, 209-218.

Edited volumes and Special Journal Issues

Invited presentations

  • University of Münster, Kolloquium des Instituts für Landschaftsökologie (Münster, Germany), December 2013
  • Universities Bonn and Cologne, Geophysikalisch-Meteorologisches Kolloquium (Bonn, Germany), November 2013
  • EUMETSAT/IMEDEA Workshop "Satellite Products in Support of Environmental Applications" (Esporles, Spain), October 2013
  • NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division (Boulder, CO, USA), August 2012
  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Klimatologisches Kolloquium (Berlin, Germany), June 2012
  • DMG and DWD, Essener Klimagespräche (Essen, Germany), June 2012
  • Deutscher Wetterdienst (DWD), CMSAF seminar (Offenbach, Germany), May 2012
  • Universität Bayreuth (Bayreuth, Germany), July 2011
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (Erlangen, Germany), January 2011
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, USA), November 2010
  • McGill University, Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Seminar (Montreal, Canada), February 2010
  • MPI for Meteorology and University of Hamburg, ZMAW Seminar (Hamburg, Germany), February 2010
  • Universität Leipzig (Leipzig, Germany), November 2009
  • Joint NetFAM-COST ES0702 workshop on "Usage of local, micrometeorological and remote sensing observations for data-assimilation and validation of mesoscale atmospheric models" (Oslo, Norway), March 2009
  • EUMETSAT/EUMeTrain Fog Week (online training course), January 2009
  • University of Bern, Microwave Physics and Environmental Diagnostics Seminar (Bern, Switzerland), December 2008
  • European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly (Vienna, Austria), April 2008
  • EUMETSAT Workshop on the Use of Satellite Data for Climate Applications (Zagreb, Croatia), November 2007
  • University of Washington, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Clouds and Precipitation Seminar (Seattle, USA), September 2007
  • Universities Bonn and Cologne, Geophysikalisch-Meteorologisches Kolloquium (Bonn, Germany), December 2006
  • 6th Annual Meeting of the European Meteorological Society (Ljubljana, Slovenia), September 2006
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