If you were to look in any laboratory research notebook belonging to someone studying the greenhouse effect or climate change in general, you would find a lot of notes concerning the clouds. While most of the world is trying to figure out which shape a cloud represents as they enjoy a picnic at the park, scientists are trying to determine the future of the world based on things like cloud patterns.
So far, all they have predicted concerning cloud shifts and patterns has been correct. Now it is time to look at the clouds, not to make shapes, but to see the future and what can be done about it.
What Clouds Do
Most people realize that clouds play a significant role in evaporation. They understand that cloudy days bring rain and release the water that created the cloud in the first place. What they don’t realize is the significance of clouds when it comes to temperature, greenhouse gases, and so forth.
It is thought that clouds act both as reflectors and as blankets. They reflect the sunlight aimed at the Earth so that the Earth doesn’t receive all of it. Yet they also act as a sort of insulator, absorbing heat from the Earth and returning it, just as a blanket absorbs body heat and returns it to the individual under the blanket.
There were three things predicted after decades of data was reviewed. These three things not only have a significant impact on the planet, but also act as predictors for what the world has to look forward to in the future.
- The tops of the very highest clouds will only get higher or taller.
- There will be a shift toward the north and south poles. This shift involves the storm path, or the path traveled by cyclones in the northern and southern hemispheres.
- There will be an expansion of subtropical dry regions.
All of this is already happening, and it follows a course of common sense. As the clouds move closer to the poles and further from subtropical dry regions, they take their rainfall with them, and increase areas in which they have access to more liquid for evaporation. As a result, the subtropical dry regions only get drier because the clouds are not there to provide that rainfall. With the clouds moving away, these regions expand.
Applied to Global Warming
With the clouds’ movement, the protection that they provide is taken away from some areas. The thermal effect is moving to areas that are naturally cold, causing ice caps to melt at an alarming rate. The areas that used to have cloud cover are now exposed to full sunlight and less humidity.
In short, the movement of the clouds does not simply mean a change in levels of rainfall, but levels of radiation, humidity, and temperature, as well. Politicians may fight over whether or not global warming exists, but that’s not what scientists are doing. Instead, each one is taking notes in a laboratory research notebook in an effort to better understand how clouds can be tracked in a more detailed manner, and what the world can do with the results of the tracking.
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