What we do
The modelling group focusses on aerosol-cloud interactions and their impact on climate using regional and global climate models. Aerosol-cloud interactions comprise the largest uncertainty of the anthropogenic radiative forcing since pre-industrial times (IPCC, 2013). In detail we investigate ice nucleation and the life cycle of mixed-phase clouds (comprising ice crystals and water droplets) and cirrus clouds by improving parameterizations of ice nucleation and aerosol cycling through clouds. We also study the impact of volcanic eruptions and stratospheric aerosols on cirrus clouds.
Another focus lies on the representation of boundary layer clouds and the influence of aerosol in general and of ship emissions on them. Not all ship emissions lead to visible ship tracks because of buffering mechanisms in the climate systems. These and other buffering mechanisms are investigated for different clouds and cloud systems. Also, the influence of dust on hurricane genesis is investigated.
The overall goal is to better understand the impact of clouds and of the radiative forcing due to aerosol-cloud interactions in past, present and future climates and to obtain more reliable estimates of it.