University of Hertfordshire

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Aerosol particles act as sites for cloud droplet and ice particle formation. Cloud properties can be perturbed through the addition of aerosol particles into the atmosphere from anthropogenic and natural processes. This addition influences cloud microphysical properties, and subsequently affects cloud dynamics and thermodynamics, and the way the cloud interacts with radiation. The Earth’s radiation budget is very greatly affected by clouds, and human-induced changes to the particle loading affecting them, known as indirect effects, are large and highly uncertain. A large part of this uncertainty is the result of poor knowledge of the fundamental aerosol and cloud properties and processes, leading to their poor representation in models. A project will i) directly investigate these processes in the laboratory, ii) evaluate the sensitivity of climate relevant parameters to the studied processes, iii) interpret the laboratory studies with detailed model investigations and iv) to incorporate and test new descriptions of the studied processes in cloud-scale and, where possible, global scale models. The programme will thereby reduce the uncertainty in estimates of radiative forcing and climate feedbacks relating to aerosol and cloud processes. The studies are split into those affecting warm clouds (those containing only liquid droplets) and those affecting clouds containing ice particles. The programme brings together an interdisciplinary team of researchers with expertise in “warm” and “cold” cloud and aerosol processes combining laboratory and multiscale modelling activities to deliver the improved predictive capability.


ID: 8963354