Challenging Climate

46. Ulrike Lohmann on clouds, aerosols and solar radiation modification

April 02, 2024 Jesse Reynolds and Pete Irvine Episode 46
Challenging Climate
46. Ulrike Lohmann on clouds, aerosols and solar radiation modification
Show Notes Chapter Markers

Today’s guest is Ulrike Lohmann, Professor of Experimental Atmospheric Physics in the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH Zurich. Lohmann is also the Principal Investigator of the CLOUDLAB project, a multi-year project to investigate aerosol-cloud interactions in wintertime stratus clouds over the Alps. 

In this episode, we discuss the role of clouds and aerosols in our climate. We dive deep into aerosol-cloud interactions to uncover the science behind solar radiation modification (SRM) techniques like marine cloud brightening, and discuss a novel proposed SRM technique - Mixed Phase Cloud Thinning.

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Intro and background
Crash course: What are aerosols? How do they behave and interact with the atmosphere?
Aerosol behaviour
Sulphate particles
Crash course 2: What are clouds? How do they behave?
Why do different types of clouds form in the presence of human-borne aerosols?
How do clouds affect climate change, and vice versa?
SRM techniques: Marine Cloud Brightening & Cirrus Cloud Thinning
The CLOUDLAB project
Cloud-seeding
Field experiments
Mixed Phase Cloud Thinning: A new SRM technique?
What is the potential for scaling up this solution?
What gives you optimism for the future?