Earth System Modeling, Comparative Planetary Climatologies and Remote Sensing
DESCRIPTION: Whether clouds will amplify or dampen global warming, referred to as cloud feedbacks, continues to be a dominant source of uncertainty in future climate projections. The goal of the project is to improve the representation of cloud feedbacks – in the lower atmosphere (below ~ 3 km) and on a global scale – and their effect on climate in the GISS model using satellite observations by focusing on cloud processes and cloud-radiation interactions in the past, present and future climate.
OUTCOMES: Reducing the uncertainty caused by these feedbacks is critical to predict the future climate change. Low clouds over the tropics and at mid-latitudes contribute up to 50 % in recent generations of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) models. With this project, we provide a new observational constraint of low-level cloud feedbacks in the tropics and the mid-latitudes for climate models, which will lead to improved representation of cloud feedbacks in present and future climate.