613 Seminar by Richard Moore (LaRC)

Aerosol Effects on Clouds in the Remote Atmosphere: From the North Atlantic Ocean Surface to Cruising Altitudes of the Upper Troposphere

Atmospheric aerosols are known to exert a significant influence on the Earth’s climate system; however, the magnitude of this influence is highly uncertain because of the complex interaction between aerosols and water vapor to form clouds.  A key source of this uncertainty stems from simplifying assumptions employed by current global models in order to represent aerosol size, chemical composition, and mixing state in a computationally efficient manner. This seminar outlines a combined airborne measurement and modeling study aimed at better understanding aerosol-cloud-climate uncertainties. Results from the recent NASA North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) are highlighted, which provide unique constraints on the sensitivity of clouds to aerosol perturbations under extremely low-aerosol conditions that may be relevant for pre-industrial periods. In addition, some new findings are presented related to aerosol-cloud interactions in the upper troposphere, where recent NASA campaigns studying aircraft engine exhaust are helping to better understand how changes in jet fuels and engine technologies hold promise for reducing the formation of contrail-cirrus clouds and the environmental impact of aviation.

Bio: Dr. Richard Moore is an airborne atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, USA. In this role, he works closely with the other members of the NASA Langley Aerosol Research Group (LARGE) and NASA Langley Lidar Applications Group to study the interaction between atmospheric aerosols and cloud formation, which are important for resolving key processes governing Earth’s radiation balance, air quality, and climate. Dr. Moore served as the Deputy Project Scientist for the recent NASA NAAMES Earth Venture Suborbital field campaigns as well as the NASA Aeronautics-funded ACCESS and ND-MAX airborne flight campaigns. His work has been recognized with multiple awards including NASA Langley H.J. Reid Award for The Center’s Best Paper of the Year in 2018 and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, researching his family history, and hiking the trails of coastal Virginia and taking in the growing local microbrewery scene.