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


Our main focus is to investigate the spatial evolution of the stable isotopes of carbon dioxide (12CO2, 13CO2 and C18OO) and water vapor (H216O, H218O). We plan to study whether the different fractionations between the heavy (13CO2 and C18OO, H218O) and light isotopologues (12CO2, H218O) provide a better quantification between soil, plant and atmospheric processes in the exchanges of water vapor and carbon dioxide under the presence of clouds.
In addition, we have the possibility to study the transformation of reactive species. More specifically, the chemical reactions associated with the NOx-O3-BVOC chain (NOx: nitrogen oxide, O3 ozone and BVOC biological volatile organic compounds) and the formation of secondary aerosol particles (SOC). These chemical mechanisms are incorporated into the two main modelling systems DALES and CLASS used in CloudRoots. These mechanisms offer the possibility to extend the study of the interactions in the land-atmosphere-cloud system to the formation of particles due to chemical transformations and how these transformations can influence the cloud microphysics and the subsequent cloud cycles.