Transport of moisture and aerosols

Water vapour can be carried over thousands of kilometers before condensing to form clouds and precipitation. Understanding their journey and its drivers are key for better understanding of the water cycle in the Earth systems, one of the major sources for uncertainties in climate models. Likewise, aerosols, such as mineral dust, interact with the many components of the Earth system, and a correct representation of their transport over long distances imposes great challenges to the modelling community. 

The atmospheric circulation governs these transport processes from the large-scale planetary waves, to the synoptic and mesoscale systems and down to the microscale turbulent eddies in the boundary layer. We study the large-scale precursors and specific weather systems that embed efficient transport, offering improved predictability of such transport events in future model generations.

Current examples are

  • Tropical plumes, exporting moisture to the extratropics
  • Heavy precipitation events resulting from 'hot spots' of ocean evaporation
  • Dust emission and transport from North Africa