Both aerosols and clouds influence radiation and precipitation, which together largely drive the global atmospheric circulation. ASR seeks to advance the process-level understanding of the key interactions among aerosols, clouds, precipitation, radiation, dynamics, and thermodynamics, with the ultimate goal of reducing the uncertainty in global and regional climate models. To accomplish this goal, ASR will work to address the following process-related research objectives:
- Determine the properties of and interactions among aerosols, clouds, precipitation, and radiation that are most critical to understand, in order to improve their representation in climate models.
- Ascertain the roles of atmospheric dynamics, thermodynamic structure, radiation, surface properties, and chemical and microphysical processes in the life cycles of aerosols and clouds, and develop and evaluate models of these processes.
- Identify and quantify processes along the aerosol-cloud-precipitation continuum that affect the radiative fluxes at the surface and top of the atmosphere and the radiative and latent heating rate profiles, and improve the ability to accurately model these processes.
For a complete summary of ASR science, read the Atmospheric System Research (ASR) Science and Program Plan.