Publication Abstracts

Del Genio 2018

Del Genio, A.D., 2018: The role of clouds in climate. In Our Warming Planet: Topics in Climate Dynamics. C. Rosenzweig, D. Rind, A. Lacis, and D. Manley, Eds., Lectures in Climate Change: Volume 1. World Scientific, pp. 103-130, doi:10.1142/9789813148796_0005.

David Rind has played a central role in the science of the modeling of climate change. He was the scientific driving force behind the development and evaluation of the first Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) global climate model (GCM), Model II (Hansen et al., 1983). Model II was one of the three original GCMs whose projections of climate change in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration were the basis for the influential Charney Report that produced the first assessment of global climate sensitivity. David used Model II to pioneer the scientific field of climate dynamics, performing a broad range of investigations of processes controlling individual elements of the general circulation and how they changed over a wide range of past and potential future climates (e.g., Rind and Rossow, 1984; Rind, 1986, 1987). The defining characteristic of Davids papers is his unique talent for tracking down the myriad links and causal chains among different parts of the nonlinear climate system. Rather than viewing climate using a simple forcing-and-response paradigm, David showed that the global energy, water, and even momentum cycles are coupled via the general circulation and its transports.

Clouds are among the most important agents by which the climate system accomplishes this coupling. Clouds usually form when moist air rises to lower pressure, adiabatically expands and cools, and saturates. The resulting condensation of water vapor releases latent heat, and the clouds that form reflect sunlight and absorb thermal infrared radiation. For the planet as a whole, clouds are the major contributor to Earths planetary albedo and thus the primary regulator of the energy input to the Earth system. The greenhouse effect of clouds is second only to water vapor as the means by which thermal cooling of Earth to space is limited.

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BibTeX Citation

  author={Del Genio, A. D.},
  editor={Rosenzweig, C. and Rind, D. and Lacis, A. and Manley, D.},
  title={The role of clouds in climate},
  booktitle={Our Warming Planet: Topics in Climate Dynamics},
  publisher={World Scientific},
  series={Lectures in Climate Change: Volume 1},

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RIS Citation

ID  - de08600q
AU  - Del Genio, A. D.
ED  - Rosenzweig, C.
ED  - Rind, D.
ED  - Lacis, A.
ED  - Manley, D.
PY  - 2018
TI  - The role of clouds in climate
BT  - Our Warming Planet: Topics in Climate Dynamics
T3  - Lectures in Climate Change: Volume 1
SP  - 103
EP  - 130
DO  - 10.1142/9789813148796_0005
PB  - World Scientific
ER  -

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