The Science of Clouds and Climate

Science for the Public: Working Science
footage from Karlesruhe Institute of Technology (at end of video) contributed by the Cziczo Lab

Daniel Cziczo, Ph.D., Victor P. Starr Career Dev. Associate Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cziczo Research Group In this video-recording at the Cziczo Lab, Dr. Cziczo explains the importance of clouds in the science of climate change. He demonstrates with a small cloud chamber how particles (aerosols) in the atmosphere form clouds, and he shows the kinds of equipment used for the analysis of atmospheric aerosols.

Professor Cziczo is an atmospheric scientist interested in the interrelationship of particulate matter and cloud formation. His research utilizes laboratory and field studies to elucidate how small particles interact with water vapor to form droplets and ice crystals which are important players in the Earth’s climate system. Experiments include using small cloud chambers in the laboratory to mimic atmospheric conditions that lead to cloud formation and observing clouds in situ from remote mountaintop sites or through the use of research aircraft.

Areas of research focus: chemical composition of atmospheric aerosols with an emphasis on their effect on cloud formation mechanisms, Earth's radiative budget, and meteoritic debris and launch vehicle emissions in the atmosphere.