Academic Venture Fund - 2013

Understanding Clouds for Better Climate Prediction

Cirrus clouds above trees

More accurate climate change predictions require a better understanding of clouds, which have an important impact on the Earth's climate. Yet scientists lack basic information about "cloud physics." Clouds' growth, evolution, and properties depend on water condensation and freezing mediated by aerosols. The research team will build new experimental instruments to measure the properties of supercooled liquid water and refine kinetic models of condensation and freezing. These fundamental findings about water's behavior will bring new precision to climate predictions and simulations of the atmosphere.

Investigators: Abraham Stroock, James Engstrom, Peter Hess, Natalie Mahowald, Poul Petersen