Prof. David Delene / Research Professor, Atmospheric Sciences, University of North Dakota

Dr. David Delene research interests include atmospheric aerosols, cloud physics, weather modification, satellite remote sensing of aerosols and clouds, air pollution, and climate change. Central to my research interests are the suspended particles in the atmosphere known as aerosols. Atmospheric aerosols are an important area of research since they affect the earth’s climate by scattering and absorbing radiation and by influencing the characteristics of clouds. Understanding the influence of aerosols on the earth’s climate is necessary for reliable predictions of anthropogenic induced climate change. The direct effect of aerosols to scatter and absorb radiation in the atmosphere influences the amount of radiation reaching the earth’s surface and the amount radiated back to space. Absorption of radiation by aerosols can heat the atmosphere sufficiently to affect the formation of clouds, and the cloud droplet number concentration is determined to a large extent by a subset of atmospheric aerosols, called cloud condensation nuclei (CCN). CCN influence the lifetime of clouds by reducing the number of large cloud droplets and hence inhibit the precipitation formation process. Satellite data extend in space and time in-situ measurements to give a global prospective that is costly to obtain with in-situ measurements. In-situ and satellite measurements need to be synthesized and incorporated into climate models so predictions can be made and tested about cloud microphysics, radiation balance, and precipitation. Models that fully incorporate aerosols may be used in examining how aerosols, radiation balances and precipitation systems are coupled and investigate possible feed backs. Collaboration among researchers is critical and I collaborate with other researches to obtain and analyze measurements to understand the earth’s climate and weather systems.