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Making Sense of Clouds with the Transilient Matrix

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May 3, 2012
David Romps
Hosted by Sue van den Heever

Abstract

Clouds transport water, trace gases, and momentum through the atmosphere in a way that is not at all "diffusive". Instead, clouds transport these things in a "transilient" way, jumping across whole layers of the atmosphere. As a result, the convective tendencies of water, dust, trace gases, momentum, etc. are most accurately diagnosed -- and modeled -- using the so-called "transilient matrix" as a framework.

New techniques allow us to diagnose these matrices from large-eddy simulations of clouds, and the resulting matrices are yielding new insights into how convection works.