About Careers Internship MedBlog Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Key to Rising Global Temperatures Found in Clouds

by Bidita Debnath on January 1, 2014 at 11:04 PM
 Key to Rising Global Temperatures Found in Clouds

Global average temperatures would rise at least 4 degrees Celsius in next century and potentially over 8 degrees Celsius by 2200, if the world doesn't pay heed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

The key to this narrower but much higher estimate was found in the real world observations about the role of water vapour in cloud formation.

Advertisement

"Our research has shown climate models indicating a low temperature response to a doubling of carbon dioxide from pre-industrial times are not reproducing the correct processes that lead to cloud formation," said Steven Sherwood, lead author from University of New South Wales' Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

"When the processes are correct in the climate models, the level of climate sensitivity is far higher. Previously, estimates of the sensitivity of global temperature to doubling of carbon dioxide ranged from 1.5 degree Celsius to 5 degree Celsius. This new research takes away the lower end of climate sensitivity estimates, meaning that global average temperatures will increase by 3 degree Celsius to 5 degree Celsius with a doubling of carbon dioxide," added Sherwood.
Advertisement

Rises in global average temperatures of this magnitude would have profound impacts on the world and the economies of many countries if the world doesn't urgently start to curb emissions, said the study that appeared in the journal Nature.

The researchers found that when water vapour is taken up by the atmosphere through evaporation, updraughts - strong upward air currents - can either rise to 15 km to form clouds that produce heavy rains or rise just a few km before returning to the surface without forming rain clouds.

When updraughts rise only a few km, they reduce total cloud cover because they pull more vapour away from the higher cloud forming regions, said the study. However, it added, that water vapour is not pulled away from cloud forming regions when only deep 15 km updraughts are present.

The researchers found climate models that show a low global temperature response to carbon dioxide do not include enough of this lower-level water vapour process. Instead they simulate nearly all updraughts as rising to 15 km and forming clouds.

When they matched climate models with real world observations, the models produced cycles that took water vapour to a wider range of heights in the atmosphere, causing fewer clouds to form as the climate warmed.

This increases the amount of sunlight and heat entering the atmosphere and, as a result, increases the sensitivity of our climate to carbon dioxide or any other perturbation, added the study.

"Climate sceptics like to criticise climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect, but what we are finding is that the mistakes are being made by those models which predict less warming, not those that predict more," said Sherwood.

Source: IANS
Font : A-A+

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Research News

Insight into Cellular Stress: Mechanisms Behind mRNA Sequestration Revealed
The discovery deepens our understanding of m6A biology and stress granule formation, with implications for neurodegenerative diseases.
Disrupted Circadian Rhythm Elevates the Risk of Parkinson's Disease
Trouble with sleep and the body's clock may increase your risk for Parkinson's, as per a new study.
A Wake-Up Call for Women  Hot Flashes Could Point to Alzheimer's Risk
New study uncovers a link between nocturnal hot flashes and Alzheimer's risk in menopausal women, suggesting a potential biomarker.
Breakthrough Brain-Centered Approach Reduces Chronic Back Pain
Our discovery revealed that a minority of individuals attributed their chronic pain to their brain's involvement.
New Statement to Protect Athletes' Health Published
Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport syndrome is overlooked by athletes and can be worsened by 'sports culture' due to its perceived short-term performance benefits.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close
MediBotMediBot
Greetings! How can I assist you?MediBot
×

Key to Rising Global Temperatures Found in Clouds Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests