Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS)

Aerosols and Clouds Group

Shiptracks in low level cloud off the coast of SW England. Exhaust plumes from ships introduce high number concentrations of aerosol into the atmosphere that can lead to cloud brightening when they become incorporated into the clouds. [Image from www.sat.dundee.ac.uk]

The interaction between clouds and aerosols is one of the greatest uncertainties in our understanding of weather and climate science. Only by discovering how to represent aerosol-cloud interaction processes, that are currently lacking in climate and weather models, will we reduce model uncertainty and increase our predictive capability for climate and weather.

The aerosol cloud group (Dan Grosvenor, Annette Miltenberger), led by Paul Field, works closely with colleagues at the Met Office. Together we are developing and using tools to explore the dynamical and thermodynamic feedbacks of these complex aerosol-cloud systems. The group are covering a diverse set of environments that range from warm-phase stratocumulus through mixed-phase to ice only clouds systems. Research by Alan Blyth, Ken Carslaw and Zhiqiang Cui focuses on convective clouds and the response of their dynamics and precipitation to changes in aerosols.

Our research utilises the leading UKCA-GLOMAP aerosol physics and chemistry expertise of Ken Carslaw’s group and benefits from working with fundamental ice nucleation research carried out at Leeds by Ben Murray’s group. We collaborate with colleagues across UK academia (ICE-D, CLARIFY) and internationally (DACCIWA, BACCHUS).

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