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Webinar: Cloud-Aerosol Radiative Effects and the Challenge of Complexity

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Tuesday, 19 January 2016, 1:00

January, 19th, 2016. 1:00 PM Eastern Time. Webinar: Cloud-Aerosol Radiative Effects and the Challenge of Complexity. K. Sebastian Schmidt, CU/LASP. Sponsored by National Center for Atmospheric Research. Click here for more information.

Abstract: Based on our current observational system, we cannot determine cloud and aerosol effects without simplifications: Cumulus cloud fields, aerosols in the vicinity of clouds, or thin clouds in the marginal ice zone are a few of many examples for a reality that defies our view of a stratified world – or challenges the instruments at our disposal in terms of accuracy, spatial resolution, dynamic range, and other performance parameters. For many experimental and modeling approaches pertaining to shortwave atmospheric radiation, it is not possible to consider the detailed three - dimensional structure of the atmosphere, and for many applications simplifications are acceptable. However, the question is what biases arise when ignoring such complexity. I will discuss observational approaches for answering this question, highlighting aerosol radiative effects in presence of broken clouds and Arctic boundary layer clouds. Aircraft experiments play an important role in attaining observations that satellites cannot provide. The lessons learned from a number of experiments are now leading to new techniques where some of the biases can be reduced for existing and future satellites, and in models. As an example, I will introduce a first - order inhomogeneity correction scheme for surface cloud radiative effects, based on the multi - pixel spectral signature of spatial complexity in parameterized form. Finally, I will talk about recent and future field missions, ongoing projects, an upcoming radiation science workshop at NCAR/CU, and how these activities fit into efforts to gain a differentiated understanding of cloud - aerosol radiative effects.

Location  Webcast
Contact  Gaylynn Potemkin, email potemkin(at)ucar.edu, phone: 303.497.1618