CloudRoots will develop an observation-simulation system with a specific focus on relationships between vegetation (BIOLOGY), the atmospheric composition and its transformation (CHEMISTRY) and the dynamics of clear and cloudy boundary layers (PHYSICS). Once this understanding is obtained, we will develop mathematical descriptions to represent these processes in weather and climate models. A key outcome of the CloudRoots findings is not only to study the present conditions of the land-atmosphere-cloud system, but also to investigate changes in plant and cloud behavior under future climate change conditions: enhanced CO2 levels, higher temperatures and an increase in the vapor pressure deficit.

The CloudRoots land-atmosphere-cloud system

land-atmosphere-cloud system


Physics is the third discipline investigated in CloudRoots. As the figure of DISCIPLINES shows, clouds perturb and control the amount of direct and diffuse radiation reaching the surface. The available energy is then partitioned into sensible heat flux, which is the main driver of atmospheric convective turbulence, and evapotranspiration, which is the main source of moisture needed to form and intensify clouds. Key aspects in this land-atmosphere-cloud system are the conditions in the free troposphere. These conditions are the lapse rate of temperature and moisture, and subsidence motions as well as the influence of large-scale advection. The combined and integrated experiments designed in CloudRoots will enable us to obtain enough observational evidence which will be used to design, constrain and evaluate the numerical experiments carried out by DALES and CLASS.