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The interaction between the surface of the ocean and the atmospheric marine boundary layer is complex and dynamic, and poses significant challenges in climatic and oceanographic research. Currently, we have limited understanding of the effects of marine ecology on cloud formation and Earth’s radiation budget. The effects of oceanic microbial activity, from phytoplankton blooms to open ocean processes on aerosol production mechanisms, their chemical composition, and their subsequent effect on cloud physics and climate are unknown.

In 2011 the Koren and the Vardi research groups embarked in an intense interdisciplinary collaboration with the aim to achieve a fundamental, process-level understanding of key interactions and feedbacks between the ocean surface and the atmospheric marine boundary layer dynamics, marine ecosystems, aerosol, and shallow warm clouds.

We are an interdisciplinary group that combines international field campaigns, laboratory experiments, and cloud modelling research to better understand the interplay between microbial processes occurring in the ocean surface, during phytoplankton blooms succession or in oligotrophic waters, formation processes of sea spray aerosols, and their impact on the lower-atmosphere and cloud processes.

 

Supported by a research grant from Scott Jordan and Gina Valdez