Stratocumulus is disappearing

New climate study predicts

Climate change is a buzz word but why it is? The changes we see in nature are so complex to predict. We know very less about climate systems and have almost zero knowledge in predicting their impacts. Researchers across the globe are working on computer models to foresee the impacts of climate change.

Like Climate, the system of clouds are also complex, in fact, both are tangled. A new study from the California Institute of Technology brings out the possible impacts of climate and clouds on global-warming. Their findings published in journal Nature Geoscience shows that the rise in carbon dioxide would shatter the clouds, responsible for the cooling of our planet.

Stratocumulus is clouds mostly present in subtropics and covers over 20% of low latitude oceans. Thereby covering a vast area of the earth, shading us from the sunlight. Though they are present vastly, studies predicting their response to climate change is limited. But this new simulation study shows that the impact of stratocumulus and other low-lying clouds on global warming is unprecedented.

At 400 ppm CO2, the stratocumulus clouds prevail whereas at 1600 ppm CO2 it shatters and replaced by cumulus clouds

The graphical representation above shows the simulated results of this study lead by Tapio Schneider of Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.

The study predicts that with the rise in CO2 the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) will increase drastically due to lack of cloud shading.

Written by M R Raghul

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