Role of Water vapor and clouds in Global Climate Change.

Clouds and water vapor are defining elements of the Earth's atmosphere. Water vapor provides most of the greenhouse effect of the earth's atmosphere. Clouds are a major reflector of incoming solar radiation. Clouds and water vapor are both the product and driver of the motions in the atmosphere. There are also key ingredients in the interaction between the atmosphere and other components of the climate system. What is the role of water vapor and clouds in global climate change? Are they amplifiers or stabilizers?

Clouds and water vapor are components of a larger picture--the earth's hydrological cycle. Addressing how the atmospheric hydrological cycle responds to global warming is a long-term goal of my research.