Clouds, dynamics, and climate

Clouds, dynamics, and climate

Clouds, dynamics, and climate

shapeimage_3Clouds are an essential component to understanding day-to-day weather, but because they cover a substantial fraction of the globe, they also play an important role in our planet’s radiative budget.  Clouds absorb infrared radiation emitted from Earth’s surface and reflect incoming solar radiation.  As the position of weather systems vary and change over time, systematic changes in cloud patterns occur.  It is only beginning to be understood how these changes in dynamics and cloud cover impact the radiative budget and temperature distribution of our planet.  Current work by Professor Kevin Grise is investigating how movements of mid-latitude low pressure systems alter cloud and radiation fields in the current climate, and how these processes might be relevant for reducing uncertainties in computer model projections of future climate variability and change.