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SEAS Colloquium in Climate Science (SCiCS)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 2:45pm - 3:45pm
Columbia University Morningside Campus, Room 214 S.W. Mudd

"Clouds and Climate: What is the nature of progress on this long-standing problem?"

Stephen A. Klein,
Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Livermore, California, USA

Abstract: Much of the uncertainty associated with climate change is connected to the uncertain response of clouds to the warming of the planet induced by the rise of greenhouse gases. Climate models struggle to accurately simulate clouds and unsurprisingly their predictions of the cloud feedback to the warming of planet vary widely. As the uncertain role of clouds in climate change has been identified as a key issue over 3 decades ago, it is worthwhile to ask how much this uncertainty has been reduced by the decades of research into this key uncertainty for climate change. In this talk, I will review what progress has been made with an emphasis on some of my recent research that looks at both whether the simulation of clouds by climate models has been improving with time as well as the reasonableness of the model-simulated responses of clouds to climate change.

Host: Lorenzo Polvani