Current efforts focus on understanding processes controlling the formation, lifecycle, and climatic influence of Arctic clouds. Clouds play important roles in the climate system, including the modulation of atmospheric radiation and the distribution of precipitation. Specific topics currently being investigated include:
- Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in Arctic Clouds: Cloud radiative forcing and precipitation characteristics are influenced by the particles upon which cloud hydrometeors form. Changes to precipitation rates, cloud lifetime, and cloud thickness can all result from changes to aerosol properties. Using a variety of observational and modeling tools, we are improving our understanding of the physical processes responsible for these interactions, as well as the resulting impact on the influence of clouds on the climate system.
- The Role of Various Processes in Arctic Cloud Formation and Lifecycle: Arctic clouds form as a result of a complex web of interacting physical processes, including those related to synoptic scale transport of water and heat, surface fluxes of these quantities, cloud-driven radiation, cloud microphysics, and aerosol properties. Our research involves establishing which of these processes are most important while simultaneously improving our understanding of individual components. This knowledge is crucial for improvement of weather and climate model simulations at high latitudes.
Currently Funded Projects
"A Multi-Faceted Evaluation of Aerosol Impacts on Arctic Clouds" (NSF, de Boer PI)
"Evaluating Aerosol Indirect Effects in Mixed-Phase Clouds" (DOE, de Boer PI)
"Understanding and Modeling Key Arctic Cloud-ABL-Surface Processes and Interactions" (NSF, Persson PI)