Sunday, October 13, 2013

Science not so "settled" after all?

New study "could fundamentally change our understanding of climate change"

    British research has discovered that our agricultural practices help form clouds: the news could change the way we calculate global warming...

    A team of scientists led by a British academic has solved a long-standing enigma to explain how up to half the clouds in the sky are formed. And in finally cracking the problem of how planet-cooling clouds are conjured from what might seem to be thin air, the researchers found that humans play a significant role. It is a discovery that could fundamentally change our understanding of climate change, and may even mean experts have underestimated just how warm the planet will get over the next century. ....

    The lack of knowledge about aerosols – particles suspended in the atmosphere – and their effect on clouds is widely recognised as the major source of uncertainty in predictions about global warming. "We have to understand how clouds have been changed by human activity or natural activity if we are to understand climate change in the 20th century and therefore have reliable projections in the 21st century," Professor Kirkby said. ....

    Gerald North, professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography at Texas A&M University in the US, welcomed the research, saying that aerosols had been "really very poorly understood".


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).

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