Clouds and Climate — Climate Science’s Greatest Challenge

Prof. Bjorn Stevens, director and head of the department “The Atmosphere in the Earth System” at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI-M), and his colleagues Pier Siebesma (Delft University of Technology), Sandrine Bony (Laboratoire de Météorologie Dynamique), and Christian Jakob (Monash University) have edited a new book called “Clouds and Climate: Climate Science´s Greatest Challenge”.

Credit: MPI-M, Photo: F. Batier

Clouds influence climate not only through their regulation of radiant energy transfer but also through their role in convective energy transport and the global water cycle. It is not really possible to understand climate and climate change, without deciphering how clouds and convection respond to perturbations, most pressingly, global warming.

The book is the first to address the role of clouds on climate in a comprehensive manner. The editors and authors aim to provide researchers, students and teachers a modern overview of the theoretical, observational and modelling perspectives that contribute to today´s scientific understanding of clouds. “Clouds and Climate” has its origins in the EUCLIPSE project (European Union Cloud Intercomparison, Process Study and Evaluation Project) and brought together world-class researchers, many of them former scientists or guests at MPI-M.

Bjorn Stevens: “What I like about the book is how it presents the many different sides of clouds, in such an integrated way; and on a more personal note, how much it has been influenced by the people and ideas either now, or formerly, associated with our department.”


Siebesma, A. P., Bony, S., Jakob, C., & Stevens, B. (Eds.). (2020). Clouds and climate: Climate science's greatest challenge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Prof Dr Bjorn Stevens
Max Planck Institute for Meteorology
Phone: +40 (0)40 41173 422 (Assistant Angela Gruber)
E-mail: bjorn.stevens@we dont want