Date of Award

2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Atmospheric Sciences (PhD)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Physics

Advisor 1

Raymond A. Shaw

Committee Member 1

Will H. Cantrell

Committee Member 2

Claudio Mazzoleni

Committee Member 3

Mikhail Ovchinnikov

Abstract

Understanding atmospheric clouds is essential for human progress, ranging from short-term effects such as when and how much it rains to long-term effects such as how much temperatures would rise due to global climate change. Clouds vary globally and seasonally; also they have length scales ranging from a few nanometers to a few kilometers and timescales from a few nanoseconds to a few weeks. Knowledge gaps in aerosol-cloud-turbulence interactions and a lack of sufficient resolution in observations pose a challenge in understanding cloud systems.

Experimental facilities like the Michigan Tech Cloud Chamber can provide a suitable platform for studying aerosol-cloud interactions in the presence of turbulence without any feedback processes, within a steady state environment. In the current thesis, we modify an atmospheric model to simulate the Michigan Tech Cloud Chamber and validate against the turbulence measured from the experiments. The modified atmospheric model is used to gain insights into the cloud chamber processes, and to predict and interpret the experimental results. This model is used to validate theoretical results, such as the presence of a constant microphysics independent heat flux. Further, the model results helps us to identify the non-Gaussian nature of supersaturation during isobaric mixing processes. Finally, this model serves as the first-order approximation for insights into the physics governing the cloud-turbulence interactions for a larger cloud chamber.

Available for download on Wednesday, June 01, 2022

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