The Laboratory of Climatology and Atmospheric Environment (LACAE) of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) has been established recently in 2002 as an extension of the historical Laboratory of Climatology, founded at the University of Athens in late 19th century.
It specialises in atmospheric environmental research, climate variability on various time and space scales, atmospheric circulation teleconnections, measurements of ultraviolet radiation and meteorological parameters, air quality impacts of weather and climate on public health, quality of the atmospheric environment, and investigates the causes and processes associated with weather and climate extremes (heat waves, droughts, floods, tornadoes, etc.).
LACAE has undertaken a systematic effort in recording tornadoes, waterspouts, and funnel cloud in Greece since 2007 and in 2009 the first innovative Greek online Tornado Report System (GTRS; http://tornado.geol.uoa.gr), has been launched, contributing in the compilation of climatology of these extreme weather events. Since then, LACAE has been actively collecting information on tornadic events (tornadoes, waterspouts and funnel cloud) in Greece. The current tornado reporting system is designed based on Greek language but an updated version is under progress and it will support multilingual users (e.g. English, French, Italian and German). The main goal of the GTRS is to collect, verify and provide detailed and quality controlled information regarding tornado activity in Greece, and in the near future GTRS will be able to incorporate all the extreme weather phenomena. Further LACAE maintain a Research Unit of recording and forecasting extreme weather with emphasis on early warning for tornadoes and storms in Greece, by applying high spatial resolution modeling (non-hydrostatic Weather Research and Forecasting model; WRF). Scientists working at LACAE collaborate with scientists from the Academy of Athens, the University of Thessaloniki, the National Technical University of Athens, the University of Freiburg, the University of Oslo, ETH Zurich, the University of Helsinki, the University of Albany of New York, and with many other high level Institutions. The members of LACAE have long experience in teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate courses and have supervised many undergraduate and postgraduate theses in the fields of climatology and atmospheric physics (climate change, regional climate models, extreme weather phenomena, human biometeorology, outdoor thermal comfort, tropospheric ozone, atmospheric pollution on urban and regional scale).
- Regional climate variability and trends
- Extreme weather phenomena (heat waves, flash floods, droughts, tornadoes, waterspouts): observations and modelling
- Impact of bioclimatic conditions on human health
- Impact of air pollution on human health
- Analysis of miscellaneous weather phenomena (Foehn winds, Saharan dust episodes)
- Analysis of climatic parameters using satellite and reanalysis datasets, on regional and local scale
- Estimation of hydrological balance on local and regional scale
- Extreme climatic indices on local and regional scale
- Tropospheric ozone variability