Climate Process

What are climate processes?

Naturally-occurring climate processes are constantly occurring, most of which are driven by an influx of energy from the sun. The abundant supply of heat and light stimulate the Earth's atmosphere causing various climate processes to take place.

The amount of light and energy that reaches the Earth's surface and atmosphere fluctuates from season to season depending on a few factors, including changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun. The factors that cause us to experience seasonal changes are the same factors that are the driving forces behind the climate processes that atmospheric scientists study.

Research Objectives

  • More effectively understand past and present climate patterns
  • Monitor the changes in the climate due to anthropogenic influences on and contributions to the atmosphere

Why do we conduct field studies on climate processes?

Monitoring the Earth's influx and outflow of both longwave and shortwave radiation from all sources is critical to understanding the naturally occurring climate process that affects all living organisms. Data collection and analysis will help by providing more accurate climate models and forecasting, which will, in turn, better prepare our communities for the future.

Recent EOL field projects studying climate processes:

  • SOCRATES 2018: The Southern Ocean Clouds, Radiation, Aerosol Transport Experimental Study (SOCRATES) project is studying cloud development over the Southern Ocean.
  • CONTRAST 2014: The CONvective TRansport of Active Species in the Tropics (CONTRAST) study's main scientific objective was to measure the chemistry and transport of reactive chemical species into the tropical Tropopause Transition Layer (TTL) over the Western Pacific warm pool region. 

Do you still have questions about climate processes?

If you still have a few more questions about climate processes feel free to ask a scientist! You can find a scientist who specializes in your particular question. Click on his or her name to send the scientist an email, or click on some of the other provided links to learn more about his or her specialty!