Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

CLaSP Seminar Series - Prof. Christine Chiu

Date: April 5, 2018
Time: 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: SRB Auditorium, room 2246

Our guest for this week's CLaSP Seminar Series will be Prof. Christine Chiu, of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University. Please join us! 

Title: "Assessing cloud-aerosol-precipitation-radiation processes from remote sensing observations"

Abstract: Precipitation, no matter whether it is in a drizzle form in marine boundary-layer clouds or in a snow aggregate form in mixed-phase clouds, plays a crucial role in the microphysical, thermodynamic and dynamic processes that determine cloud structure and properties.  Cloud and precipitation processes are further compounded by their interactions with aerosols.  However, despite tremendous efforts, longstanding model deficiencies in cloud and precipitation properties remain, which consequently affects our ability to understand and quantify how cloud characteristics will alter in a warming climate.  To improve process-level understanding of cloud-aerosol-precipitation-radiation interactions, we need observations with sufficient accuracy, temporal and spatial resolution.  Capitalizing on new scanning cloud radars, lidars and shortwave spectrometers, I will show how the unique, detailed cloud and precipitation properties may help constrain precipitation formation and aerosol impacts on precipitation.  To understand how fast evolving phenomena, such as clouds and aerosols, aggregate to affect our climate system, I will also introduce and report on recent progress of a novel strategy for globally monitoring the Earth’s radiation using a constellation of small satellites.
Biography: Christine Chiu is an Associate Professor at the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University.  Prior to joining CSU, she was an Associate Professor at the Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, United Kingdom, a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland–Baltimore County, and an Associated Scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Christine’s research interests lie in remote sensing, radiative transfer, and cloud-aerosol-precipitation-radiation interactions.  She has worked extensively on retrievals of cloud optical and microphysical properties that are the prime determinant of the energy budget, but are poorly predicted by climate models.  The main problem in retrieving cloud properties is that clouds are complicated 3D objects that evolve fast; measurement methods that hope to catch clouds must be similarly fast and sophisticated.  Christine has approached this problem using both passive radiometers and active radar/lidar beams, and is working toward blending observational elements, numerical simulation and model evaluation.  This new approach allows us to investigate 3D cloud distributions and their radiative impact, to quantify aerosol impacts on precipitation, and to provide constraints for precipitation formation processes.

Christine is currently serving as a member of the Science Board and the User Executive Committee for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility, a member of the International Radiation Commission, the Chair of the AMS Atmospheric Radiation Committee, and Associate Editor (or co-Editor) for Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmosphere (JGR).

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