Center for Chemistry of Clouds (C3)
April 2023 - April 2029
Clouds and their formation have both puzzled and fascinated humans for centuries. Clouds cover two-thirds of the sky and they affect weather, precipitation, and climate. Despite their comprehensive presence, we know very little about how clouds form. A requisite for cloud formation is ubiquitous aerosol particles, which are present in the atmosphere and act as interfaces for cloud formation.
The vision of C3 is to contribute to the understanding of key processes driving cloud formation and to unravel how aerosol surfaces and chemistry affect the atmospheric chemical processes leading to cloud formation. New insights into aerosols, their physicochemical properties, and their interaction with water on a molecular scale will lead to a larger certainty in our understanding of cloud formation and the influence on weather and climate.
In C3, we apply a wide range of experimental and theoretical methods to investigate and understand multiphase aerosol systems in the atmosphere under different atmospherically relevant conditions, e.g. sunlight, relative humidity, and temperature. C3 combines controlled laboratory studies with complex theoretical models to understand how processes like oxidation and light-induced reactions change aerosol surfaces and their properties, potentially altering their cloud-forming properties.