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Cloud Micro- and Macrophysics

Understanding the processes governing cloud formation, from the molecular to the planetary scale, is essential for understanding the occurrence of clouds and how they affect weather and climate.

Clouds are an integral part of weather and climate; they affect and are affected by radiation, precipitation, circulation systems as well as biogeochemistry. During the course, you will learn about essential factors governing cloud formation and how these factors affect cloud micro- and macrophysical properties, e.g. the vertical extent of the clouds and if the clouds consist of liquid water, ice or a mixture. Another important part of the course is the understanding of precipitation formation and how the underlying processes differ between warm and cold clouds. We also discuss the micro- and macroscale structure of the clouds and how they affect the radiative balance on different spatial scales.

  • Course structure

    The course deals with formation and occurrence of condensation and ice nuclei as well as their chemical and physical properties. Further subjects are cloud and precipitation formation, large-scale processes that precondition cloud formation, the significance of clouds for radiation, how clouds are observed and how they are described in numerical forecast and climate models.

    Teaching format

    The course consists of lectures, laboratory work (mandatory), exercises and seminars (mandatory).

    Course material

    Grading criteria, course literature and other material and correspondence related to the course will be available on the course Athena-site at once you have registered for the course.


    Examination is done by a written test.


    Here is a link to a list of course coordinators and examiners.

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    You can search for schedules from previous years in TimeEdit, by entering the course code.

    Link to TimeEdit

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    • Dennis Lamb, Johannes Verlinde: Physics and Chemistry of Clouds, Cambridge University Press, 2011. Online ISBN: 9780511976377, Hardback ISBN: 9780521899109.
    • Ulrike Lohmann et al: An Introduction to Clouds. From the Microscale to Climate, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Online ISBN: 9781139087513.
  • Course reports

  • More information

    Upcoming courses

    The course is held every autumn semester.

  • Contact

    Study counselor