Abstract

In a changing climate, clouds are perturbed through large-scale variations in the general circulation induced by both greenhouse gases and aerosols. Some aerosols perturb cloud microphysical properties as well. The challenge for micro- and mesoscale observational studies of perturbed clouds is thus to establish the links between these two contrasting forcings, in an effort to understand how clouds respond to changes in the general circulation and to quantify how this response might be modulated by changes in their microphysical properties. The two generic classes of micro- to mesoscale observational strategies, the Eulerian column closure and the Lagrangian cloud system evolution approaches, are described using examples of low-level cloud studies, and recommendations are made on how they should be combined with large-scale information to address this issue.

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