DOE funding award goes to Adele Igel to study thunderstorms and aerosols

Adele Igel has been awarded a grant from the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Science Research program to study the response of convective storms, such as thunderstorms, to changes in air pollution. More pollution, specifically higher aerosol concentration, is thought to make such storms more intense, but the magnitude of the effect is not well quantified from observations and the mechanisms that drive the response are under debate. The project aims to address both of these outstanding problems. The project will build on theoretical work led by Adele that was published this week in Geophysical Research Letters in which the team showed that one longstanding explanation for this phenomenon may in fact instead serve to weaken storms.