814334 Aerosols, radiation, clouds, and climate

Lecture and exercise
Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Mayer, Monika , Arsenovic, Pavle , Kuchar, Ales , Rieder, Harald
Offered in
Sommersemester 2024
Languages of instruction


Aerosols are ubiquitous in the atmosphere and a key player in climate change. They directly interact with solar radiation by either scattering or absorption, which can lead to a warming or cooling of the atmosphere. Aerosols also have a crucial role in cloud formation and can modify the size of cloud droplets, thereby changing how clouds reflect and absorb sunlight, if precipitation occurs and how long a cloud persists. This course will focus on atmospheric aerosols, their origins, properties, ability to change in the atmosphere and their effects on Earth’s energy balance through the interaction with solar radiation and their particular role as seeds to form cloud droplets. In addition cloud properties and precipitating processes will be discussed.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

After completing this course, students will have obtained an overview of the importance of aerosols for climate. They will be informed about aerosol formation processes, aerosol microphysics and the major unresolved questions regarding aerosol-radiation and aerosol-cloud interactions and learn how this affects their role in climate. The students will be able to analyze key parameters determining the climate contribution of different types of aerosols, including their lifetime in the atmosphere, their origin, their water uptake potential and ability to form cloud droplets. Additionally, students will be familiar with cloud microphysical properties and their dependence on natural and human activity in a changing climate.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.