AOS Faculty Profile
Lecturer, Ph.D. University of Chicago
Address: 257 GFDL
Phone: (609) 452-6562
Email: Leo.J.Donner at noaa.gov
Cloud and Convective Processes in the Atmospheric General Circulation
Cloud and convective systems play important roles in the energy and water cycles in the atmosphere and are thereby important in a wide range of problems related to climate and large-scale atmospheric variability on shorter time scales. My research deals with the interactions between processes on the scales of clouds and convective systems and large-scale atmospheric flows. Several methods are used to study the effects of clouds and convective systems on the thermal, moisture, and radiative fields which characterize the large-scale flows in which these systems develop. A primary application of this research is the development of parameterizations for clouds and convective systems for use in general circulation models.
Recent research has focused on the importance of atmospheric vertical motions on all scales as controls on climate forcing by aerosols and as a correlate to climate sensitivity. New observations of vertical velocities and modeling approaches taking into account vertical-velocity distributions may offer paths toward reducing long-standing uncertainties in climate forcing and climate sensitivity.
Some Recent Publications:
Zhao, M., and Co-Authors, including L.J. Donner, 2016: Uncertainty in model climate sensitivity traced to representations of cumulus precipitation microphysics. J. Climate, 29, 543-560, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-15-0191.1.
Radley, C., S. Fueglistaler, and L. Donner, 2014: Cloud and radiative balance changes in response to ENSO in observations and models. J. Climate, 27, 3100-3113, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00338.1.
Rosenfeld, D., S. Sherwood, R. Wood, and L. Donner, 2014: Climate effects of aerosol-cloud interactions. Science, 343, 379-380, doi: 10.1126/science.1247490.
Donner, L.J., and Co-Authors, 2011: The dynamical core, physical parameterizations, and basic simulation characteristics of the atmospheric component of the GFDL coupled model CM3. J. Climate,