Global warming is one of the biggest threats we’ve ever faced, and we continue to ignore it. This year has already been one of the strangest ones when it comes to weather, but these aren’t the only changes that we are going to experience. It seems that global warming is also affecting the cloud patterns, more specifically, the stratocumulus clouds.
Caltech’s Tapio Schneider led a study which revealed that there might be an irreversible shift in cloud patterns in the future, and this could have severe effects on the temperature of our planet.
The focus of the study was the stratocumulus clouds. These clouds cover about a fifth of the low-latitude ocean, and they are a bit different from the typical clouds, and they are quite important for our planet. Unfortunately, if carbon dioxide continues to reach the atmosphere, these clouds could disappear. To be more specific, the clouds could literally break apart.
Stratocumulus Clouds Might Disappear Due To Global Warming, Which Would Have Devastating Effects On The Planet
“Once the stratocumulus decks have broken up, they only re-form once CO2 concentrations drop substantially below the level at which the instability first occurred,” read the study.
The disappearance of the stratocumulus clouds would have devastating effects, as it will make the temperature of our planet increase suddenly and radically. The heat will reach values which are not estimated by the current climate models.
However, not all experts agree wholeheartedly with the results of the study. Kerry Emanuel, who is a professor of atmospheric science at MIT, also shared his opinion on the study: “What he’s done is certainly plausible, but these clouds are really hard to simulate… It provides a plausible, but not yet proven, route by which you could have a tipping point in the climate.”
Nonetheless, the researchers added that follow-up studies would be needed to provide more answers to the global warming effects on stratocumulus clouds.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.