Another Study Says Warming May Be Worse Than Experts Think

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 9:46 PM

It all comes down to clouds and how much heat they're trapping. According to the study published Thursday in the journal Science, computer model simulations declare there is more ice and less liquid water in clouds than a decade of satellite observations show.

Most computer simulations of climate modify are underestimating by at minimum one degree how warm the world will obtain this century, a new study suggests.

It all comes down to clouds and how much heat they're trapping. According to the study published Thursday in the journal Science, computer model simulations declare there is more ice and less liquid water in clouds than a decade of satellite observations show.

The more water and less ice in clouds, the more heat is trapped and less the light is reflected, said study co-author Trude Storelvmo, a Yale atmospheric scientist. She said even though it tens of degrees below freezing, the clouds still have lots of liquid water because they don't have sufficient particles that helps the water turn to ice crystals.

Because as the climate changes, there will be more clouds with distant more liquid, and global warming will be higher than previously thought, Storelvmo said.

How much warming is predicted for the next eighty or so years depends a lot on if society cuts back on carbon dioxide emissions. In the worst case scenario, with number carbon reduction, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Modify sees temperatures rising by about 6.7 degrees by the finish of the cent and Storelvmo said the liquid cloud factor would add another degree or more on top of that.

While the study is "well-reasoned" and "sobering," there are uncertainties with the satellite observations that lift questions for Chris Bretherton at the Univ of Washington, who wasn't portion of the study. He said if the Yale team is right and there'south a bigger cloud feedback, why hasn't warming so distant been even higher? That'south a legitimate question, Storelvmo said, but computer simulations may also be underestimating the cooling effect of aerosols that mask the warming but are diminishing in the atmosphere.

This is just the latest in a series of studies that have found that mainstream science may be too conservative in estimating the pace and effects of warming, including melting ice sheets in Antarctica.

"None of this is excellent news," Storelvmo said. "You always hope that climate isn't as sensitive to carbon dioxide as we fear, same with the ice sheets, but we're calling it as we look it. Several studies have arrive out and indicate that we've been too conservative up until now."

Uncertainties in mainstream climate science are more "on the horrible side" than on the side of less harm, said climate and glacier scientist Richard Alley of PA State University, who wasn't portion of the study. "Climate science thus is probably more open to criticism of being too conservative than being too alarmist."

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