New research shows that clouds may have a much more effective cooling effect on our planet as compared to the climate model’s suggestions currently. Recently Nature Climate Change published a paper that strives to correct the unaddressed and long-standing problem in the existing models regarding the cooling effect of clouds.
The authors of this study have updated this dated climate model and put an updated simulation in place that suggests that ‘warm’ clouds also provide rainfall. These warm clouds contain only water rather than the ice and water combination. In addition, they also stated that warmer temperatures lead to a 3-time increase in the clouds’ lifespan.
Updated Cloud Cooling Effect
Experts have informed that their latest generation based on worldwide climate models, which is CMIP6, predicts that we might experience a much quicker future warming. This is mainly due to the reason that according to the simulations of the newer models, clouds have a lesser cooling effect.
The foremost author of this study reveals that the major problem is Carbon Brief that reduces the level of warming by the same quantity as almost the warming between CMIP6 and CMIP5. As a result of this, the primary takeaway is to brace for the additional warming in the CMIP6 while a few of the other issues in the model are being fixed.
Global temperature is greatly affected by clouds. Ellie Highwood, a climate physics professor at the Meteorology Department in Reading University had explained the interrelation between global temperatures and clouds. He mentioned that bright, low clouds have a cooling effect owing to their ability to reflect the sun’s rays away from the surface of the earth. Thin, high clouds form ice crystals that absorb infrared radiation that warms the atmosphere. On the other hand, multiple cloud layers complicate the cooling effect further.
The feedback from cloud-lifetime has shown that warmer clouds do not tend to rain easily. Due to this, the CMIP6 warm clouds precipitate very easily and also have a short lifespan that triggers this model on underestimating the cooling effect of the clouds present in our climate system.