Climate Change Clues in Sky

Climate Change / Current Affairs / Science

The AP has an article posted today about some research being done into the effects that upper level clouds contribute to the overall climate change mechanism.

“(AP) — Scientists are peering into the clouds near the top of the world, trying to solve a mystery and learn something new about global warming. The mystery is the droplets of water in the clouds. With the North Pole just 685 miles away, they should be frozen, yet more of them are liquid than anyone expected.


‘Much to our surprise, we found that Arctic clouds have got lots of super-cooled liquid water in them. Liquid water has even been detected in clouds at temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 F),’ said Taneil Uttal, chief of the Clouds and Arctic Research Group at the Earth Systems Research Laboratory of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

‘If a cloud is composed of liquid water droplets in the Arctic, instead of ice crystals, then that changes how they will interact with the earth’s surface and the atmosphere to reflect, absorb and transmit radiation,’ said Uttal.

‘It’s a new science, driven by the fact that everybody doing climate predictions says that clouds are perhaps the single greatest unknown factor in understanding global warming.’


‘By and large,’ he said, ‘we are not now arguing about whether global warming is going to happen; the argument has turned to: How big is it going to be?’ “

There’s more in the article, and it ends with a discussion of the presently observed shortening of winter in the Arctic and the effect that is having on wildlife and plant-life.

Read the rest here: Scientists Climate Change Clues in Sky

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...