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3:30 p.m.

AOSC Seminar by Dr. Youtong Zheng, 10/21/2021

AOSC Seminar

Dr. Youtong Zheng

Princeton University, and NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab


Title: To couple or not to couple? New insights into the cloud-topped boundary layer


Low-lying clouds significantly regulate the Earth’s radiative budgets.  How low clouds respond to a warming planet remains highly uncertain, limiting the accuracy of climate projections. The low clouds typically sit on top of the planetary boundary layer, the lowest part of the atmosphere that is directly influenced by the surface. This forms the cloud-topped boundary layer (CTBL). I ask a fundamental question about the CTBL: how tightly are the clouds coupled with the surface? This question is important because the cloud-surface decoupling can profoundly influence the ability of clouds to reflect sunlight, thus impinging on the atmospheric temperature and its future change. To that end, I synthesize a pencil-and-paper theory, field experiment data, and a high-resolution computer model to elucidate the fundamental physics of the coupling and decoupling of the CTBL. I show how this improved understanding may open a new door for unlocking a series of unresolved problems concerning climate change.



Youtong Zheng is an Associate Research Scholar at Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Princeton University, and NOAA/Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab. His work focuses on physics of boundary layer clouds using observations, pencil-and-paper theory, and computer simulations. Before moving to Princeton, he was an Assistant Research Scientist and Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he obtained his Ph.D. He is the recipient of the Chinese-American Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (COAA) Yuxiang Young Scholar Award and the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Students Abroad. He is the committee member of Cloud Measurements and Cloud Modeling in the DOE Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) User Executive Committee.


Contact: Zhanqing Li

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AOSC Seminar

Pre-seminar refreshment: N/A
Seminar: 3:30-4:30pm, Zoom
Meet-the-Speaker: 4:30-5:00pm, Zoom [For AOSC Students only]

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