CAS conducts fundamental investigations of the atmosphere related to climate and climate change.
The current focus of CAS researchers is on the following major topics:

  • Physics and Chemistry of the particles in the atmosphere
  • Role of aerosols, clouds and water vapor in climate
  • Role of aerosols in the asian monsoon and the hydrological cycle
  • Chemistry of the tropical troposphere
  • Chemistry of the Stratosphere
  • Climate feedback due to convection, clouds and water vapor
  • Monsoon dynamics
  • Bio-optics in the ocean

  • Aerosols, clouds and water vapor have a dominant influence on the radiative heating of the planet. For example, water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Ozone in the stratosphere regulates harmful UV radiation from reaching the surface; while ozone near the surface can be toxic. How the climate forcing due to these atmospheric species is altered by human activities and in turn how they feedback onto natural or forced climate changes is a fundamentally unsolved problem.

    These species also have important influences on the ocean-atmosphere dynamics. Latent heating released in clouds determines the thermodynamical forcing of the atmospheric general circulation, while the modulation of the sea surface radiative heating by clouds, aerosol and water vapor have an important influence on the thermodynamical forcing for the ocean circulation. Lastly, the quality of life near the surface, and life in the ocean, is determined by surface temperature, sunshine and rainfall. These variables, in turn are regulated by clouds, water vapor and aerosols.