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Department of Atmospheric Science

Seminar: Tues., Oct. 29, 3:10 pm, EN6085

Aerosol-Cloud-Climate Interactions:
How the micro scale may be pausing global warming

Andrew Gettelman
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Boulder, Colorado

Abstract: Aerosol-cloud interactions are a significant forcing agent on climate. Altering aerosols affect cloud droplet and ice crystal number. This affects cloud brightness (cloud radiative effect) and precipitation formation. This alters global and regional climate by changing the radiative forcing, and altering precipitation formation. It may also alter cloud feedbacks. This seminar will describe how we represent key microphysical processes in global climate models and how they are connected to aerosols. The complexities and problems of simulating scales from the micro-scale to the global will be discussed, along with new strategies to attempt to simulate these interactions better.  The implications for climate forcing by aerosols will be discussed: an analysis of recent aerosol emissions indicates growing emissions which may contribute to forcing the recent temperature record over the last 10 years. The pattern of forcing and response observed indicates that aerosols may be a significant contributor to the lack of Northern Hemisphere warming over the last 10 years.

Biography: Dr. Gettelman is a Scientist III at the NCAR’s Climate and Global Dynamics Division. He has played a key role in the development of the NCAR Community Earth System Model (CESM)/Community Atmospheric Model (CAM). He is an Associate Editor of Reviews of Geophysics. He is a Steering Committee Member of the SPARC-IGAC Atmospheric Chemistry and Climate Initiative.

Dr. Gettelman is broadly interested in climate and specifically the role of clouds in the climate system, and perturbations to clouds through human-induced forcing and feedbacks. His work includes analysis of both data and a range of different atmospheric models, mostly large scale global General Circulation Models. His research has focused recently on cloud microphysics, aerosols and ice phase clouds.

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