High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can deprive a planet of clouds

According to a new study, researchers from the California Institute of technology, press release which was published on the website of the institution, and a detailed analysis in the journal Nature Geoscience, our planet could lose stratocumulus sea of clouds, if the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reaches a certain critical point. As a consequence, this will lead to a sharp warming, which exacerbated the situation with the already observed global warming.

Stratocumulus clouds play a very important role for our planet. They reflect sunlight back into space, preventing them from penetrating to the Ground. However, this natural protection she was under threat of extinction due to the ongoing climate change on the planet.

To come to such conclusions scientists helped developed new climate models through which the researchers decided to test how high CO2 concentrations affect the formation of stratocumulus clouds. Having modeled the formation of such clouds, scientists for two years carried out computer calculations. The results of these calculations led the researchers to conclude that a steady increase in the CO2 content in the atmosphere can cause a sudden jump in temperature associated with the disappearance of stratocumulus clouds.

According to the report, if CO2 reaches 1300 ppm (parts per million), global atmospheric temperatures will rise by eight degrees Celsius, which is significantly higher than the level of warming that has already been caused by the effects of greenhouse gases. For comparison, today’s rate is approximately three times lower and is equal to 410 ppm. Scientists project that increasing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to a critical point may occur within the next century.

“I hope and believe that technological changes will lead to a slowdown of CO2 emissions, and we do not reach critically high concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. However, our results show that under climate change there are the rapids, which we did not know before,” — says the study’s lead author Tapio Schneider.

“Stratocumulus clouds may simply cease to exist. Then they can be formed only after the CO2 concentration falls substantially below the level at which first arose instability.”

The researchers explain that there is no possibility to check whether the clouds behave in the predicted way in the world with such high concentrations of carbon dioxide, because their education is very dynamic and very difficult to be estimated by other computer models. However, the increase in the average temperature of 8 degrees Celsius as stated in the report of scientists, will be catastrophic not only humans but also flora and fauna.

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