Organization of clouds, and their impact on the climate system
Clouds are some of the largest uncertainties in weather and climate forecasting. They are also an interesting physical phenomenon, and despite having been studied and admired for millennia, there is still a lot that we do not understand, thanks to the multitude of physical processes. In the atmospheric system, clouds serve as a key component of a heat engine. The solar/infrared radiative fingerprint of clouds depends strongly on the droplet size distribution: Smaller droplets will result in a larger reflectivity, but also alters cloud lifetime. These effects are further complicated by organization and clustering of cloud fields. To study this, I use very high resolution computer simulations, that produce plausible cloud fields. In this seminar, I will give an overview of the physics of clouds, and what we need to know to properly model them.