Climate Processes

Group Leaders:

Our research addresses physical climate processes in the context of anthropogenic perturbations to the earth system as the underlying cause of climate change.

Focal points of our research are cloud and aerosol physics, their interactions and their role in the climate system. Aerosols are small liquid or solid particles suspended in air of both anthropogenic and natural origin. Cloud droplets form on aerosol particles.

Figure: Biomass burning aerosols over the Amazon during the 2005 dry season with embedded cumulus clouds. (From NASA Goddard)

Atmospheric aerosols play an important role in the global climate system through direct modification of the global radiation budget, by scattering and absorption, as well as indirectly, by the modification of cloud properties.

We combine theory with advanced computer models of the atmosphere, with explicit representation of the governing microphysical aerosol and cloud process, in synergy with measurement data from satellites, aircrafts and ground based instruments to understand the complex interaction of aerosols and clouds with the aim to quantify the resulting climatic implications. Increasingly, we are also employing machine learning techniques to analyse and emulate complex big climate datasets. See more details on our research webpage.