AOS Faculty Profile
Lecturer, Ph.D. University of Chicago
Address: 247 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.
Recently, I led the scientific development of the next-generation atmospheric general circulation model at the NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL), with which the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences collaborates closely. For the first time at GFDL, this model includes interactions between aerosols and clouds, an important source of natural and human-induced climate change. I am also leading a Climate Process Team at GFDL which is exploring the ways in which cloud dynamics, aerosols, and microphysics interact to improve understanding
and modeling of clouds and their role in climate change. I am collaborating with colleagues involved in a wide range of measurement campaigns to evaluate and improve parameterizations of clouds and convection in climate models.
Some Recent Publications:
Donner, L., 2011: Conditional and convective instability. Encyclopedia of Climate and Weather, Second Edition, Oxford University Press.
Donner, L., R. Somerville, and W. Schubert, 2011: The Development of Atmospheric General Circulation Models: Complexity, Synthesis, and Computation. Cambridge University Press, 255 pp.
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, doi: 10.1175/2011JCLI3955.