Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Clouds play a vital role in weather and climate by affecting the transfer of solar radiation and by transporting and delivering precipitation in the form of rain, snow, and ice.

Lawrence Livermore scientists are recognized leaders in cloud processes research, including their diagnosis with observations, their parameterization and evaluation in climate models, and their response to climate change.

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Comparison of diurnal evolution of vertical cloud fraction profile from Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) observations, large-eddy simulation (LES), and the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) with two different sets of parameters. While LES does a reasonably good job simulating the observed shallow cumulus, the default E3SM (lower left) produces too little cloud too late in the day and at too low an altitude relative to ARM observations.

Livermore cloud modeling researchers support activities such as:

  • Developing objective analysis methods and diagnostic techniques used worldwide to assess model simulations of clouds and their response to environmental change.
  • Improving scientific understanding of climate change through the development of novel techniques for model evaluation and observational data analysis as well as next-generation, high-resolution Earth system models.
  • Serving as the lead institution involved in developing the Department of Energy’s high-resolution Energy Exascale Earth System Model.
  • Working closely with the Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison, a world leader in the diagnosis of climate models, and the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement user facility, which provides novel ground-based observations of clouds and related processes.

Learn more about cloud modeling