High CO2 Levels Are Negatively Influencing The Marine Layer Clouds

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Somewhere in the future, our Earth’s marine layer clouds could disappear or at least become unstable if the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are elevated enough. According to a new modeling study, the disappearance of the marine stratus clouds due to high CO2 levels would trigger a disastrous spike in global warming.

Due to this phenomenon, the surface temperatures could rise by about 8 Kelvin (14 degrees Fahrenheit) all over the world, and, according to the study, which you will be able to read beginning with 25th of February in Nature Geoscience, that could happen when CO2 concentrations reach above 1,200 parts per million (ppm). So you would understand it better, at the moment, the concentration is around 410 ppm and keeps going higher. During the next century, the CO2 level of the Earth could rise above 1,200 ppm.

High CO2 Levels Are Negatively Influencing The Marine Layer Clouds

According to Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering, Caltech’s Tapio Schneider, and senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which Caltech manages for NASA, the technological changes can prevent this situation from happening, if the future measures would be slowing down the carbon emissions. According to the lead author of the study, Schneider, 1,200 ppm is not a firm number, and it is only an estimation.

There has been a longstanding mystery in paleoclimatology that this study could offer a solution for. Based on geological records, the Arctic used to be full of crocodiles and frost-free during the Eocene era, around 50 million years ago. However, for the Arctic to be that warm, the CO2 levels would need to rise above 4,000 ppm, based on existing climate models. Furthermore, the hothouse climate’s appearance of the Eocene era could be explained by the global warming spike due to the loss of marine layer clouds caused by high CO2 levels.


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