Pollution Warms Atmosphere Through Thunder Clouds

by Editor

Pollution generated by industry and big cities is combining with thunder clouds to warm the atmosphere a recent study reports. The micro particles created by pollution are making their way into storm clouds to create a blanketing effect upon the earth.

Little is understood about the role that clouds play in the climate of our planet. The computational study created by researchers indicates that the affect of pollution could be contributing to global warming by thickening the layer of clouds in the upper atmosphere.

The insulating affect created by the polluted clouds is  most predominate during night time.

Little is known about clouds

Pollution is warming the atmosphere through summer thunderstorm clouds, according to a computational study published May 10 in Geophysical Research Letters. How much the warming effect of these clouds offsets the cooling that other clouds provide is not yet clear. To find out, researchers need to incorporate this new-found warming into global climate models.

Pollution strengthens thunderstorm clouds, causing their anvil-shaped tops to spread out high in the atmosphere and capture heat — especially at night, said lead author and climate researcher Jiwen Fan of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.   “Global climate models don’t see this effect because thunderstorm clouds simulated in those models do not include enough detail,” said Fan. “The large amount of heat trapped by the pollution-enhanced clouds could potentially impact regional circulation and modify weather systems.”   Clouds are one of the most poorly understood components of Earth’s climate system. Called deep convective clouds, thunderstorm clouds reflect a lot of the sun’s energy back into space, trap heat that rises from the surface, and return evaporated water back to the surface as rain, making them an important part of the climate cycle.

Source: Science Daily

According to the study, bold claims are made that cloud pollution could modify weather systems. We have seen an intensity in storms over the last several years. At what stage do we start to modify our behaviour before we indeed pollute our way out of existence?

We will continue to see more and more super storms over the coming years as we mess with clouds through pollution.

Do you think enough research is being done to understand clouds and the effect that they have on our weather systems?

Do you think that we have to start acting on the problems that industrial civilisation is creating for our planet?

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