NASA satellite image above Peru shows self-organizing honeycomb cloud pattern

Image: NASA satelliteResearch Highlight Uncovering Oscillating Patterns in Clouds: Significant implications for our understanding of climate change research.

Cloud & Aerosol Processes

Dr. Daniel M. Murphy, Program Lead
Ronda Knott, Secretary (303) 497-5074

NOAA ESRL Chemical Sciences Division
325 Broadway R/CSD2
Boulder, CO 80305 USA


The Cloud and Aerosol Processes program in the Chemical Sciences Division studies processes of importance to climate, air quality, and precipitation.


We measure the chemical, physical, and optical properties of aerosol particles from aircraft, ships, and ground sites as well as in the laboratory. By combining these with gas-phase and other measurements, we learn about the sources, sinks, and radiative properties of these particles. We also collaborate with aircraft measurements of cloud droplets.


We model the physical and radiative properties of clouds, including large eddy simulation models, mesoscale models, and detailed models of cloud chemistry. These model results are compared to in-situ and remote sensing data.


We participate in regional and global scale studies of aerosol and cloud properties from satellite data and monitoring networks. These studies lead to improved understanding of atmospheric processes with a strong emphasis on communicating this understanding through scientific publications, assessments, and development of instrumentation and modeling tools.

Field Projects

Field Projects

Studying emissions of trace gases and
fine particles from oil and shale gas
basins in the western U.S.

Recent Publications

Recent Publications

An increase in soot contributes to
climate change as shipping routes



Measuring chemical, physical, and
optical properties of aerosol particles
and cloud physics.



Cloud & aerosol processes research data
from major NOAA, NCAR, and NASA
collaborative field missions.