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Is our atmosphere shrinking? Clouds getting lower!

 
Anarchy
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User ID: 35130641
New Zealand
02/25/2013 04:44 AM
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Is our atmosphere shrinking? Clouds getting lower!
Interesting comments at the link as well. . . [link to m.popsci.com]
>>>>>>>>

Earth’s clouds are sinking lower in the sky, with fewer clouds at high altitudes and lower cloudtops in general, says a new analysis of satellite data. The coming fog means that Earth will cool down more efficiently — so the lowering of clouds could slow the effects of global warming.

This potential negative feedback loop is evident in about 10 years of satellite data, so not much at all in the grand scheme of climate research. But it’s a hint that something interesting is happening, according to Roger Davies, the lead researcher on a new paper based on findings from NASA’s Terra spacecraft.

Several NASA assets look at clouds in a variety of ways, measuring their size, structure, formation, altitude and other vitals. The data is important for weather forecasting as well as long-term climate forecasting. Among other instruments, the Terra satellite contains nine cameras at different angles that produce 3-D images of clouds around the world. The satellite launched in 1999 and the new study examined its first decade of data. The data show that global average cloud height declined by roughly one percent over the decade, decreasing by around 100 to 130 feet. This was mostly the result of fewer clouds forming at the highest altitudes, according to a NASA release. Scientists are not sure why this happened, but it might be due to a change in atmospheric circulation patterns at high altitudes, Davies said. But they do know what it could mean: A drop in cloud height would allow more heat to escape the Earth into space, reducing the overall temperature of the planet. So differences in cloud formation, wrought by a warming climate, could help counteract the effects of that warming.

... more at link

Last Edited by Lady Jane Smith on 06/27/2014 09:36 AM
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02/25/2013 04:48 AM
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Re: Is our atmosphere shrinking? Clouds getting lower!
It only took 5 years to get that article out?
gemam
Put a lion in a cage for years without food and watch what happens.
Its appetite will of cause grow and grow, and then you point your finger at its hunger?
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02/25/2013 05:22 AM
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Re: Is our atmosphere shrinking? Clouds getting lower!
bump
Put a lion in a cage for years without food and watch what happens.
Its appetite will of cause grow and grow, and then you point your finger at its hunger?
Anarchy (OP)

User ID: 35130641
New Zealand
02/25/2013 06:45 AM
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Re: Is our atmosphere shrinking? Clouds getting lower!
Guess the system is just rebalancing.

Conflicting figures regarding GW everywhere it seems. How the hell do you model something like a planetary system when we can only just predict localised events? Even that isn't close to 100%

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