Peter V. Hobbs Memorial Endowed Lecture in Experimental Meteorology

Ulrike Lohmann

Professor Ulrike Lohmann

January 19, 2016

7:30-8:30, Kane Hall, Room 210

Prof. Ulrike Lohmann

Professor, Experimental Atmospheric Physics, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science, ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich)

Lecture: "Uncertainties in Climate Prediction: The Influence of Clouds and Aerosols on Climate"



Clouds are not only fascinating to observe for their myriad of shapes, but are also scientifically challenging because their formation requires both knowledge about the large-scale meteorological environment as well as knowledge about the details of cloud droplet and ice crystal formation on the micro-scale. The ice phase in clouds remains enigmatic because ice crystal number concentrations can exceed the number concentrations of those aerosol particles acting as centers for ice crystals (so-called ice nucleating particles, INP) by orders of magnitude.

Aerosol particles can scatter and absorb radiation and with that cause a cooling, that partly offsets the greenhouse gas warming. Aerosol particles also influence the microphysics of clouds by acting as cloud condensation nuclei and INP. The magnitude and geographical distribution or the cooling caused by aerosol particles themselves and by aerosol-cloud interactions is much more uncertain than the greenhouse gas warming because aerosol particles have localized sources and sinks and only have an atmospheric residence time of days to weeks. An additional uncertainty related to clouds is that it is not yet clear how clouds change in a warmer climate. In this lecture, the progress that has been made in climate projections related to clouds and aerosols will be addressed.

About the Speaker

Ulrike Lohmann is Full Professor for Experimental Atmospheric Physics in the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science at ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich) since October 2004.

She obtained her Ph.D. in climate modelling from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. Prior to her current appointment, she was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax (Canada). She was awarded a Canada Research Chair in 2002, received the American Meteorological Society Henry G. Houghton Award in 2007 and was elected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2008.

Her research focuses on the role of aerosol particles and clouds in the climate system. Of specific interest are cloud microphysical processes including the formation of cloud droplets and ice crystals and the influence of aerosol particles on the radiation balance and on the hydrological cycle in the present, past and future climate. She combines laboratory work and field measurements on cloud and aerosol microphysics with the representation of them in different numerical models.

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Peter Hobbs

Professor Peter V. Hobbs

Hobbs Endowed Lectures

Description of Lectureship

The purpose of the Peter V. Hobbs Memorial Endowed Lectureship in Experimental Meteorology shall be to sponsor open lectures in the field of experimental meteorology. Peter Hobbs felt strongly that the furthering of science must be nurtured through the open exchange of ideas amongst scientists. To that end, he planned to fund an Endowed Lectureship in Experimental Meteorology for the Atmospheric Sciences Department at the University of Washington where he had worked for 42 years.

Peter Hobbs was deeply involved all his working life in the field of experimental meteorology which ranges from the microscale, through the mesoscale, up to the global scale, and includes both the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere. The common threads in this field are the ubiquitous roles played by aerosols, clouds and precipitation in the atmosphere.

The gift to establish this endowed lectureship was made in loving memory of Peter by his wife and three sons.

Husky One Aircraft

The CARG's Convair-580 research
aircraft in Pietersburg, South Africa,
during the SAFARI-2000 Field Project.
Photo: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center

Hobbs Career Information

Professor Peter V. Hobbs was a faculty member of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington from 1963 to 2005. He received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Physics from the Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London, in 1960 and 1963, respectively. Director of the Cloud and Aerosol Research Group at the University of Washington from 1963 to 2005.

Principal research interests were cloud and precipitation physics, mesoscale meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and air pollution.

In addition to his steady stream of discoveries about all aspects of clouds—published in 340 papers—Hobbs advised more than 50 graduate students after arriving at the University of Washington, repopulating the field of atmospheric physics.

None of this would have been possible had Hobbs not had a talent for stringing together the funds for aircraft for 40 years, starting with a WWII vintage bomber previously owned by eccentric billionaire aviator Howard Hughes.

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