It has been revealed that global warming is currently at its peak and this has led to cloud formations that are brighter in nature.
With the atmosphere undergoing warming, the clouds tend to have liquid in them instead of ice. This makes them brighter in their countenance. This is because liquid clouds reflect more sunlight back into space than ice clouds.
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Such cloud formations are a natural method of cooling the atmosphere. Most clouds have a lot of ice in them which becomes liquid via the heat. This makes their cloud phase feedback very strong.
Employing a brand new model, the researchers changed the settings of the clouds to bring their ice and liquid levels back into synch with what was found in nature while it remained intact from human intervention.
This rectification led to a weaker response and so greater warming occurred as a result. Climate heat increased from 4 degrees C to 5-5.5 degrees C.
This was in versions where the ice and liquid ratios were brought into harmony with the original levels. Climate sensitivity depends upon the amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which leads to global warming.
Such models normally predict an increase of 2.1 to 4.7 degrees C in response to a doubling of CO2. What was seen in this study was a lessening of the cloud phase feedback and an increase in the climate sensitivity.
In natural settings what is normally seen is a balance of ice crystals and liquid droplets in cloud formations. This occurs at temperatures below the freezing point.
As temperatures go up, the liquid droplets increase in the clouds. Since liquid reflects more sunlight back into space, the global warming will decrease. The more icy the clouds, the more liquid that will accumulate with warming.
The increase in cloud reflectivity and brightness as the planet warms is only to be expected. Yet all this has a paradoxical effect. Cloud feedback leads to an exacerbation of the global warming process.
The amplification of the feedback loop disrupts the normal and natural cycles of the planet. The clouds hardly seem to help humanity overcome the global warming crisis. They are more of a hindrance instead.
The findings of this study were published in the journal Science.