Colloquium on June 9th, 2008


Raymond Shaw
Michigan Tech

Several unsolved problems in the physics of atmospheric clouds

Atmospheric clouds, a crucial piece of the climate change problem, are
almost iconic as visualizations of turbulence. Some of the many aspects of
turbulence interacting with cloud particles and radiation fields will be
reviewed: from inhomogeneous mixing, to inertial clustering, to stochastic
coalescence. The fundamental role of the Lagrangian viewpoint in the
cloud-particle coalescence problem will be discussed in the context of a
toy model of stochastic rain formation. This provides a context for
discussing the emerging recognition of the dominant role of fluctuations
in cloud processes.