A 'what if' model of cloud cover and increased warming

  • #1
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,325
2,960
Popular reporting:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/clim...te-change-model-warns/?utm_term=.d40e5e576254
Article in Nature Geoscience:
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-019-0310-1 (I can see the article, may be behind a paywall)

Research group created models of stratocumulus cloud formation at very increased levels of increased CO2 , 1200ppm and higher. Our current levels are slightly above 400ppm.

Cloud decks would not form at high CO2 levels and the light energy they no longer reflect would add an additional 8°C to world temperature averages.

This is strictly a hypothetical model. Calling it a 'what if' model is appropriate, if you accept the conclusions of those researchers who built the model.

This model is interesting. Clouds are a component of climate that researchers seem to have avoided in the past. The sad downside is that yellow journalism will turn this into a proclamation of certain impending doom, instead of an instructive model. The Washington Post article cited above is reasonable reporting without much hyperbole. IMO.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Likes PhanthomJay

Answers and Replies

  • #2
.Scott
Homework Helper
2,732
1,030
I read those articles. What was not clear to me was whether the decrease cooling during the day was offset by the increased radiational cooling at night. Would this result in only wider day/night temperature swings or a net increase in average temps as well?
 
  • #3
jim mcnamara
Mentor
4,325
2,960
They do deal with heat loss. I can't post the graphic because of copyright considerations. IMO the explanation is less than clear, they claim that cloud top effects change the structure (layers) of air with relative humidity being higher at upper level (350m) which traps heat loss at night -- Due to increased evaporation.

You may have a different take on their description of the effect.

The model deals with the subtropics and ocean surfaces mostly, another limitation.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on A 'what if' model of cloud cover and increased warming

  • Last Post
Replies
10
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
5K
Replies
4
Views
4K
Replies
1
Views
696
Replies
23
Views
9K
Replies
3
Views
2K
Replies
106
Views
33K
Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
  • Last Post
3
Replies
59
Views
11K
Top