Cumulus clouds are pretty boring. They are not as elegant as the cirrus (clouds of horsetail high in the sky) or majestic, like cumulonimbus clouds (big, terrible thunder).
But stratocutal clouds that hover low in the sky and create vast cloud cover decks, have the highest value in our warmth: their white peaks reflect many solar radiation back into space.
Clouds in 2019 could potentially be altered as a result of extreme climate change. These panoramas of reservoir dome areas could disappear, further exacerbating global warming. Make surprises in addition to the already existing and clearly predictable effects.
A leading researcher, Tapio Schneider, a climatologist at Caltech, has advanced the hypothesis that very high levels of carbon dioxide can suppress the formation of reservoir domes. He and his colleagues simulated the formation of such clouds, and after two years of computer calculations, they came to the conclusion that the constant growth of atmospheric CO2 could cause a sudden burst of temperature associated with missing cumulus heaps.
"This is a dramatic effect," Schneider said The Washington Post .
"After the decomposition of dome decks, they are only re-formed after the concentration of CO2 dropped significantly below the level at which the first instability occurred," – said in the study.
Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Mass. Institute of Technology, said about Schneider's research: "What he did is definitely plausible, but these clouds are very difficult to simulate … This provides a plausible but not yet proven Route, for With the help of which you could have a turning point in the climate. "
Climate scientists have long been confused with clouds. The cloud can increase global warming, or it can limit it, depending on what cloud is, and its size, location, thickness , duration, etc. are on of course, insignificant elements of the natural world.If you could bring all the clouds and water vapor to the atmosphere on the surface, it would have formed a liquid layer less than an inch in size, Schneider said, and only the clouds would create a layer no deeper than the paint layer.
"You have to predict which small portion of this water vapor will condense in the clouds," said Schneider.
There is no easy way to check if the clouds really behave in a world with such an alarmingly high carbon dioxide concentration. It is certain that the 8 ° C spike, in addition to the warming already baked in the cake from greenhouse gas emissions, would probably be catastrophic not only for human civilization, but also for countless species and ecosystems caused by rapid climate change. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when people started burning fossil fuels on an enormous scale, global temperatures rose by about 1 degree Celsius, or about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, with warming due to the growth of atmospheric carbon dioxide, from about 280 ppm to more than 400 ppm, the level exceeded in 2013 for the first time in recorded history.
It's hard to imagine a world with nearly 1,300 ppm CO2.
Schneider, for example, does not think that such extreme CO2 levels will be realized, simply because he suggests that human civilization will find a way to avoid the introduction of all this carbon into the atmosphere
"I hope there will be sufficient technical progress that we are not going to get there, but it's not beyond the reach," Schneider said.
Matt Huber, Purdue climate researcher, who studied the influence of the cloud on climate, offered a careful assessment of the new paper.
"When you see an amazing result in the climatic model, you get worried that the model itself is too shaken that there is something that should be stabilizing But Huber noted that Schneider's paper offers a potential answer to the ancient riddle. decades scientists knew that 55 million years ago the Earth experienced a surprisingly hot phase – called the thermal peak of the Paleocene Eocene (PETM)., This is the famous "crocodile in the Arctic Period."
How was the Earth so dazzling? Carbon dioxide is an obvious element of the mystery , but climatic models do not seem to push the planet to such high temperatures without extreme CO2 levels such as 4,000 ppm or higher. The geological record does not show CO2 above 2000 ppm.
So there should be another factor.
One possibility was that the massive release of methane from the ocean floor blocked the climate in the new greenhouse regime, but Schneider's paper suggests another hypothesis: the disappearing cloud shell could lead to a turning point in the climate.
Cumulus clouds are created when the warm air rises from the surface and cools down, which leads to the condensation of water vapor. Such cloud decks are known in California as sea layers, and they are known for moving into coastal cities and turning into warmer days.
These clouds cover large tropical ocean lanes.
Cooling process in the upper part of the clouds. This is happening on a physical scale, which traditional climatic models can not easily capture.
"They just fall into the computer grid," Schneider said.
He and his colleagues have developed a new model that uses what is known as a large simulation of vortex radiation. The model shows that the cooling process required for these cloud decks will be suppressed if the planet becomes too warm.
2019 © The Washington Post
] The Washington Post .