The research in the Cloud physics group concentrates on the representation of cloud properties and cloud processes in numerical models. The dynamic state, spatial inhomogeneity, precipitation potential and the life cycle of clouds are determined by both microphysical variables and large-scale forcing, convection and the turbulent state of the atmosphere.
The variation of cloud properties on the mesoscale (a few 100 meters to a few kilometers) are one of the main reasons for the uncertainties in the representation and feedbacks of clouds in climate models, which are unable to resolve these scales. Microphysical relations, e.g. between mean droplet sizes and precipitation formation, are frequently extrapolated from small to large scales, but they can in fact be modified or even reversed through subgridscale variations. Therefore a better process understanding and scale-dependent parameterizations of mesoscale cloud processes and cloud properties are required.
Our tools are on the one hand the mesoscale atmospheric models ICON and COSMO with a variable grid resolution and on the other hand atmospheric observations for the evaluation of the simulations. We have connections to other research groups at IMK-TRO (→ KITcube as an observation system at the scale of interest and the family of the ICON/ICON-ART and COSMO/COSMO-ART/CLM models) and to the laboratory and field experiments of cloud microphysics at IMK-AAF.