A recently published study investigated cloud formation in the sky and the particles that make that process possible. Scientists discovered that previous assumptions of cloud formations were “a bit off” a scenario that reduces the consequences of greenhouse effects and global warming.
Global warming is a common topic in modern societies since it affects every single person and the planet we all live in. The primary problem of global warming is the excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) around the Earth’s atmosphere.
CO2 acts as a type of blanket that surrounds the Earth, it traps heat, and warms the environment. Humans are the main cause of this effect. When burning coal, oil, and other types of gases CO2 levels increase and accumulate in the atmosphere.
Global warming has caused several increases in the Earth’s temperature. In fact, the decade between 2000 and 2010 has been the warmest one since 1880. Warming the planet can cause a series of changes in climate change worsening snow storms, reducing ice, melting glaciers, and affecting the animal population.
Experts have treated this case for many years to predict the possible outcomes of global warming in our planet if temperatures keep on rising and human-made warming continues. A recent investigation explains that some of this predictions might not have been as accurate because of a mislead.
Global warming is not entirely human-made
Investigators explained that a key assumption has been made in a wrong manner for years, affecting the results of manmade global warming.
Lead author of the study, Jasper Kirkby, explains that the recent discovery might sharpen future predictions of man-made global warming.
“What this will do is slightly reduce and sharpen the projections for temperature during the 21st century,” said Kirkby.
The European Center for Nuclear Research or CERN in Geneva was the household for the investigation held by Kirkby who with a team of investigators discovered a previously unknown natural process that emits C02 into the environment.
This unknown process creates atmospheric particles around clouds which are very common when made by human air-pollution when burning fossil fuels or other gases, natural resources hadn’t been considered as a factual matter for air pollution.
Investigators created a cloud simulation chamber in which they observed the process of a cloud’s formation and the chemicals and particles that affect it. In a chamber located at the Swiss mountaintop, which is around 3.5 kilometers high, investigators discovered trees created particles that affect the pollution process.
Previously investigators needed to assume how past skies looked and behaved in cloud formation, having scientists assume how ‘cloudy’ the environment was in which the vast majority assumed it was sunnier and with fewer clouds than today.
These predictions are pertinent in computer models used to understand the future temperatures of the planet. Cloud formation is important because thanks to them the planet is able to ‘cool down’ since they reflect sunlight towards space.
What does it mean for global warming
If investigators had previously assumed the skies were less cloudy than they are nowadays because of human-made pollution, that means predictions of future environments worsen if global warming care isn’t applied.
But with this new discovery, investigators have proven that in fact skies had to be cloudy in the past because of the chemical process emitted by trees towards the sky making pollution not only a human consequence but a natural consequence.
The discovery also means that future environment predictions may not be ‘as bad’ as previously thought, Yet Kirkby assures the planet is getting warmer and societies need to do something to take care of it.
The research has been published in the journals Science and Nature, more investigation on cloud formation and global warming needs to be made to understand the effects nature and humans are causing.
Source: Science Magazine