Questions




Clouds:

  • How to model low (planetary boundary layer) clouds?
  • How to think about the probability distribution of cloud types, and how might it shift with climate change?
  • How to model the fraction of cloud cover and what are better parameterizations? Total cloud albedo is amazingly constant -- why?
  • How to combine models with a good vertical resolution with an account of micro and macro-turbulence?
  • Can cloud cover be viewed as a problem of optimization? Maximum entropy ideas?
  • To what degree are precipitation extremes controlled by properties of clouds?
  • Aerosols and cloud nucleation processes?

Ecosystems:

  • Are in-situ experiments that modify temperature, CO2, and/or moisture realistic simulations of a changing climate?
  • How can carbon-cycle models be verified? Over what time and spatial scales?
  • What is the best model of the biosphere that we can realistically hope for?
  • Measurements of CO2 in a vertical column are needed (large diurnal oscillations in surface CO2 concentrations due to plant photosynthesis / respiration).
  • Do we need to worry about species instead of just plant functional types?

Ice:

  • Pressing need to model ice flow over surfaces (ie. the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets). How can this be done?

Macroturbulence:

  • Do statistical closures exist that reproduce, at least qualitatively, the main features of extratropical circulation? Quantitatively?
  • What is the basic mechanism of Madden-Julian oscillations that determines their period and the speed of propagation?
  • Origin of power law scaling in mesoscale turbulence.
  • Moisture: Effect of water vapor and latent heat on large-scale eddies.
  • Simple models of the monsoon -- can they be constructed? What are the basic drivers?

Models:

  • Hierarchy of important processes -- how to organize? How to calculate?
  • Tipping points? Do they exist? If so, how to detect? Are toy models useful?

Oceans:

  • Are there locations where the formation of deep water could keep CO2 away from the atmosphere for > 100 years?
  • To what degree is mixing a function of climate? What sets rate of vertical mixing rates? What controls heat transport?