Brookhaven Lecture

"469th Brookhaven Lecture: 'The Skinny on Thin Clouds'"

Presented by Andrew Vogelman, Ph.D., Environmental Sciences Department

Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 4:00 pm — Berkner Hall Auditorium

Forget about whether you prefer the Mets or the Yankees. If you wanted to make an educated guess about who will win when the two teams play later this week, you would need to see some data, right? You'd at least want pitchers' earned run averages and batters' batting averages. Just as you would need data to hypothesize which baseball team is more likely to win, climate scientists need lots of data â€" including how much of the sun's energy is blocked or captured by clouds in the atmosphere â€" to assess how things like carbon emissions may affect Earth's climate. Scientists are constantly collecting new data to construct and improve complex climate models to make projections of what Earth's climate will be like in the future. And that's not a bet to get wrong. Vogelmann will begin his talk by discussing the role that clouds â€" thin clouds, in particular â€" play in Earth's energy budget as the sun's rays enter and exit the atmosphere. He will then explain how scientists are working from both the ground and the air to understand better how clouds affect Earth's climate, and why that understanding is necessary to develop more accurate climate models.

Hosted by: Steve Musolino

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