Research Highlights


Highlights will be written for high-level accomplishments and published journal articles of ASR research. Each ASR principal investigator (PI) is expected to submit at least one highlight per fiscal year.

Recent Highlights

Thermals, thermal chains, and plumes: what controls the basic structure of cumulus convection?

9 April 2021

Morrison, Hugh Clifton; Peters, John Michael

Supported by: ASR

Research area: Vertical Velocity

Two basic conceptual models have traditionally served as a basis for understanding moist convection in the atmosphere: plumes and thermals. Plumes consist of a “chimney” of rising air, while thermals are discrete rising bubbles. Whether cumulus convection is more plume-like or thermal-like has important implications for how clouds entrain and [...]

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Anthropogenic aerosols prolong fog lifetime

8 April 2021

Liu, Yangang

Supported by: ASR

Research area: Cloud-Aerosol-Precipitation Interactions

Aerosol-cloud interactions, especially aerosol effects on cloud lifetime, remain uncertain and pose great challenges to the scientific community. Challenges stem from the lack of long-term measurements and covariation of aerosol and meteorological variables that can mask aerosol effects. This study addresses these problems by analyzing decades-long measurements in China of [...]

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AI scales up processed-based aerosol modeling

6 April 2021

Riemer, Nicole; West, Matthew

Supported by: ASR

Research area: Aerosol Processes

This study produced global maps that show how the chemicals in atmospheric aerosols are more or less mixed within particles. These maps were produced by a machine-learning model that was first trained on expensive high-detail simulations of aerosols and then applied to global Earth system model output.

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Impact of sea spray ice-nucleating particles on high-latitude mixed-phase clouds

31 March 2021

Liu, Xiaohong

Supported by: ARM ASR

Research area: Aerosol Processes

Mixed-phase clouds are frequently observed in high-latitude regions and have important impacts on the Earth’s surface energy budget and regional climate. Ice crystals play a critical role in determining cloud phase, lifetime, electrification, and radiative properties in mixed-phase clouds. How the ice crystals are formed in high-latitude mixed-phase clouds is [...]

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New instrument probes humidity effect on aerosol light absorption

29 March 2021

Dubey, Manvendra K.

Supported by: ASR

Research area: Aerosol Properties

Soot particles can absorb more sunlight when they are coated with water as they grow into cloud drops. This enhanced absorption that is included in climate and cloud models increases soot’s warming directly by solar absorption and indirectly by promoting cloud evaporation is unvalidated. Our new optical instrument allows robust [...]

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