Atmospheric scientist Daniel Knopf, a professor in the Department of Chemistry at Stony Brook University, and his research group pursue a wide range of aerosol-related interests, including imaging analysis, particle atmospheric transport and chemical transformation, aerosols from sea spray and blue-green algae, and instrument development.
The Knopf group has a particular interest in how ice forms in clouds. Without ice in clouds, little or no precipitation would fall in Earth’s middle latitudes. For several years they have been working on the best way to represent this important process in models, but it is challenging to map out the ice-formation process. Aerosol particles, moving air and cloud microphysics interact in very complex ways.
In all, writes Knopf in an October 2021 paper, predicting how ice forms in clouds “is one of the grand challenges in the atmospheric sciences.”
Knopf leads a 2021-2023 research project designed to improve the predictive understanding of ice-crystal number concentration in mixed-phase clouds. Those are the kind in which supercooled water droplets and ice crystals exist side-by-side, a condition of fruitful instability that makes precipitation possible.
His research project is funded by the Atmospheric Research System (ASR) program at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Read the complete article on the ASR website.