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Though the majority of flows in nature are turbulent, our knowledge on turbulence in the atmosphere is still limited. In particular, little is known on how turbulence changes locally in time. In this video, JAKUB NOWAK and MARTA WACŁAWCZYK focus on stratocumulus clouds over the ocean and seek to test their method for assessing the states of turbulence. Analysis of data from a helicopter platform confirms the existence of non-stationary and non-equilibrium turbulence within stratocumulus clouds. Future work will look to explore the applicability of these findings to other types of clouds and to flows in the atmospheric boundary layer.


Marta Wacławczyk is an Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw, Faculty of Physics, in the Institute of Geophysics. Having completed her doctorate at Gdańsk in 2007, she has previously worked in the Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences and at the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany). Her research interests include the statistical analysis of turbulent flows and modeling of turbulence. Marta Wacławczyk has been awarded both DAAD (2003-04) and Alexander von Humboldt (2008-09) scholarships.

Jakub Nowak is a postdoctoral researcher at University of Warsaw, Faculty of Physics where in 2022 he also completed his PhD about the properties of turbulence in stratocumulus clouds and marine boundary layers. His research interests include atmospheric turbulence, physics of clouds as well as related measurement techniques and instrument development. In 2018/19 he worked at Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research in Leipzig as a visiting researcher funded by DAAD scholarship. Now he works on the representation of turbulence and clouds in the km-resolution global climate models.


University of Warsaw

The University of Warsaw (Polish: Uniwersytet Warszawski, Latin: Universitas Varsoviensis) is a public research university in Warsaw, Poland. Established in 1816, it is the largest institution of higher learning in the country, offering 37 different fields of study as well as 100 specializations inhumanities, technical, and the natural sciences.

Physics and astronomy at the University of Warsaw appeared in 1816 as part of the then Faculty of Philosophy. Currently, the Faculty of Physics at the University of Warsaw consists of the following institutes: Experimental Physics, Theoretical Physics, Geophysics, the Department of Mathematical Methods and the Astronomical Observatory. The research covers almost all areas of modern physics, on scales from quantum to cosmological. The Faculty's research and teaching staff consists of over 250 academic teachers. About 1,100 students and over 170 doctoral students study at the Faculty of Physics UW.

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Original publication

Detecting Nonequilibrium States in Atmospheric Turbulence

Marta Waclawczyk, Jakub L. Nowak, Holger Siebert and Szymon P. Malinowski
Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences
Published in 2022