ASR scientists conduct field campaigns in their quest to study aerosols and clouds and how they influence radiation and precipitation. Using the new capabilities of the ARM Climate Research Facility from the Recovery Act of 2009, ASR will expand its research horizon, especially in cloud dynamics and precipitation studies.
Historically, the ARM science program and ASP were observation-based programs with a related goal to improve process representation in global climate models, but each emphasized different measurement scales. ARM science studies have been based mainly on the long-term observational record from the heavily-instrumented fixed sites and the ARM Mobile Facility, supplemented with periodic intensive field campaigns at these sites. In contrast ASP research has made extensive use of controlled laboratory experiments to study key atmospheric processes, especially those involving chemical reactions or composition-dependent aerosol properties, and extended the studies of these processes into the atmospheric environment using in situ measurements in intensive short-term field campaigns.
In the past several years, the two programs have coordinated several joint field campaigns, typically at ARM Facility sites, thereby combining the distinct measurement scales, methodologies, and expertise available within the two programs to yield complementary data on the same processes, which has led to new insights and understanding.