Geo- and Climate Science (Summary)

Understanding how small-scale turbulence controls stratocumulus clouds

 

Author
Mellado, Juan-Pedro

 

Department
The Atmosphere in the Earth System (Bjorn Stevens)

 

Summary
Turbulence controls how the atmospheric boundary layer mixes with the overlying free troposphere. This process is particularly important when stratocumulus clouds cap the atmospheric boundary layer. The details of how this mixing occurs have been investigated using direct numerical simulations. Specifically, the mixing due to evaporative cooling and local wind shear, and that due to radiative cooling, have been quantified separately, providing estimates for their relative strengths based on the bulk properties inside and above the cloud.