Research – University of Copenhagen

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Atmospheric complexity > Research

Research

How do clouds influence the climate system? How do they form intense precipitation? Such questions have challenged atmospheric science for decades. High-resolution simulations and observations bring us closer to answering them, yet, fundamental processes are not understood.

Satellite image by the Global Precipitation Measurement mission (NASA).

This is because clouds organize on a range of scales, scales interact and precipitation is a result of abrupt changes of phases, leading to abruptness, e.g. intermittancy, in the moisture dynamics. Furthermore, convective-type cloud has been shown to produce unexpectedly strong precipitation intensity, not explained by equilibrium thermodynamics.

The team uses methods from theoretical physics to describe and model atmospheric processes. The aim is to capture emergent aspects, e.g. self-organization, that originate from small scales but can impact on larger scales. We use high-resolution simulations and observational data and make simplified, conceptual, models to capture key aspects of atmospheric complexity.

What is convection?
Convection is buoyancy driven motion of moist air. When air near the surface is heated, e.g. by solar irradiation, vertical air motion and cloud formation can be induced.

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Our Approach

We use a combination of methods to address convective processes: High-resolution observations, idealized simulations and conceptual modeling. 

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Full publication list here >>

Research highlights
Find a number of selected publications, which highlight, why convection is exciting both observationally, as well as in terms of numerical modeling. Demanding new ways of thinking about self-organizaiton.

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