Clouds will increase global warming, and we can’t do pretty much anything about it, researchers warn us.
New satellite data of Earth’s cloud cover unveils how clouds are very likely to amplify global heating. A team of scientists at Imperial College London, in collaboration with the University of East Anglia, came up with a way of collecting enough data to get to this new approach and results.
Here is what you need to know.
Clouds vs. Global Warming: a Report
The team of scientists found the strongest proof that clouds will increase global warming over the long term, further worsening climate change. And that’s not all.
Scientists also discovered that at double atmospheric CO2 concentrations above pre-industrial levels, the climate is more likely to warm up to 3 degrees Celsius than warm below 2 degrees Celsius.
The scientists came up with a new technique to quantify any connections between the associated temperature, wind and humidity conditions, and state-of-the-art global satellite observations of clouds.
“The value of the climate sensitivity is highly uncertain, and this translates into uncertainity in future global warming projections and in the remaining ‘carbon budget’ – how much we can emit before we reach common targets of 1.5 degrees Celsius or 2 degrees Celsius of global warming,” explained Dr Paulo Ceppi, the co-author of the study.
Using the new method, the team of scientists was able to constrain better how clouds will shift as the Earth warms. The results are genuinely intriguing.
Scientists discovered that clouds would increase global warming – more than 97.5 % probability – by amplifying the greenhouse effect and reflecting less solar radiation.
Moreover, the CO2 concentrations will also double and trigger temperatures of approximately 3.2 degrees Celsius of warming. The new results are more accurate thanks to the data used from global observations.
The new approach is a major step towards narrowing the most significant risk factor in climate sensitivity predictions.