Everyone is familiar with clouds in the sky. While an individual cloud might not be very important by itself, the combined effects of clouds throughout the world are extremely important. Clouds impact the transfer of radiation through Earth's atmosphere and are therefore important for energy balance in our climate system. Small clouds can quickly grow larger into damaging thunderstorms. Clusters of clouds can organize together to form tropical cyclones. Clouds transport energy upward through the atmosphere and affect large-scale atmospheric dynamics. Clouds also impact the transmission of various electromagnetic signals, which are used for a wide variety of applications.
Our scientific understanding of clouds, including our ability to explain how clouds develop and grow, is quite limited. The ultimate goal of our group's research is improving that understanding so that numerical weather and climate models can better represent clouds and the larger-scale processes that depend on them. We do this by collecting and/or analyzing observations of clouds and their environment and supplementing these observations with numerical models of the clouds we observe. We heavily depend on the use of remote sensing to learn more about clouds, including satellite and radar data.
Please have a look around the website to learn more about the research and teaching done by CaRS at NPS. Also, if you are particularly interested in learning more about a topic, have a look at our YouTube channels linked from individual course pages. You can navigate using the tabs in the menu at the top or upper left corner of the page.