Clouds are important players for the Earth’s atmosphere. They significantly influence the hydrological cycle as well as the energy budget of the atmosphere, and in turn also atmospheric flows due to diabatic heating (e.g. latent heat and/or interaction with radiation). Although clouds are composed by a myriad of small water particles, they can form macroscopic pattern (cloud structures) in which diabatic heat sources are concentrated. This effect might additionally affect atmospheric flows.

In this working group we investigate clouds from a more theoretical point of view. We use modern methods from physics, mathematics and computer sciences to address the following basic problems of cloud research in an interdisciplinary way:

  • What are the dominant processes for formation and evolution of clouds, especially of clouds containing ice particles?
  • How do processes on different scales interact to form pattern on larger scales?
  • How can cloud processes formulated in a mathematically and physically consistent way? How can multiple scale models of clouds be formulated?
  • How can the impact of clouds on larger scales be parameterised in coarse resolution models (e.g. for numerical weather prediction or climate projection)?