|Convener: A. Ekman | Co-Conveners: S. van den Heever , W.-K. Tao|
Aerosols are critical components of the atmospheric hydrological cycle and radiation budget. As a major factor in cloud formation and a significant attenuator of solar radiation, aerosols affect the climate in several different ways. Current research suggests that aerosol effects on clouds could further extend to precipitation, both through the formation of cloud particles and by exerting persistent radiative forcing on the climate system that feeds back to the dynamics, both locally and on larger scales. However, the various mechanisms behind these effects, in particular those connected to precipitation, are not yet well understood. The atmospheric and climate communities have long been working to gain a better grasp of these critical effects and hence reduce the significant uncertainties in climate prediction resulting from such a lack of adequate knowledge.
This session highlights the use of numerical models (from cloud, regional to global scales) and observations (satellite and ground-based global observing systems) to provide a basis for improving our understanding of the impact of aerosols on cloud and precipitation processes. Invited and contributing speakers will discuss current state-of-the-art modeling capabilities and limitations in predicting, simulating and observing aerosol effects on clouds and precipitation on different spatial and temporal scales. In addition, future research directions regarding cloud-aerosol precipitation interactions will be discussed in this session.