U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights


Improving the Treatment of Ice Clouds for Climate Models
Published: August 10, 2009
Posted: August 14, 2009

Scientists in DOE's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program used ARM measurements to show that the shapes of ice crystal vary considerably between recently formed ice clouds and aged ice clouds.  This is important because the shape of ice crystals determines how sunlight is reflected by clouds.  Accurate representations of how clouds affect sunlight are needed for climate models to determine how clouds might enhance or reduce the warming associated with increases in greenhouse gases.  This study used unique high-resolution images of ice crystals measured near Darwin, Australia during the ARM-sponsored Tropical Warm Pool International Cloud Experiment.  These scientists also developed new models, which differ significantly from those currently used in climate models, to show how the observed aggregate crystals affect sunlight.  Application of these results in climate models will enable more accurate representations of the interactions of ice clouds and sunlight. 

Reference:  Um, J., and G.M. McFarquhar (2009), Single-scattering properties of aggregates of plates, Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 135, 291-304.

Contact: Kiran Alapaty, SC-23.1, (301) 903-3175
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Earth and Environmental Systems Modeling
  • Research Area: Atmospheric System Research

Division: SC-23.1 Climate and Environmental Sciences Division, BER

 

BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Aug 24, 2019
New Approach for Studying How Microbes Influence Their Environment
A diverse group of scientists suggests a common framework and targeting of known microbial processes [more...]

Aug 08, 2019
Nutrient-Hungry Peatland Microbes Reduce Carbon Loss Under Warmer Conditions
Enzyme production in peatlands reduces carbon lost to respiration under future high temperatures. [more...]

Aug 05, 2019
Amazon Forest Response to CO2 Fertilization Dependent on Plant Phosphorus Acquisition
AmazonFACE Model Intercomparison. The Science Plant growth is dependent on the availabi [more...]

Jul 29, 2019
A Slippery Slope: Soil Carbon Destabilization
Carbon gain or loss depends on the balance between competing biological, chemical, and physical reac [more...]

Jul 15, 2019
Field Evaluation of Gas Analyzers for Measuring Ecosystem Fluxes
How gas analyzer type and correction method impact measured fluxes. The Science A side- [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)