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Title: Cloud Feedbacks on Climate: A Challenging Scientific Problem

Abstract

One reason it has been difficult to develop suitable social and economic policies to address global climate change is that projected global warming during the coming century has a large uncertainty range. The primary physical cause of this large uncertainty range is lack of understanding of the magnitude and even sign of cloud feedbacks on the climate system. If Earth's cloudiness responded to global warming by reflecting more solar radiation back to space or allowing more terrestrial radiation to be emitted to space, this would mitigate the warming produced by increased anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Contrastingly, a cloud response that reduced solar reflection or terrestrial emission would exacerbate anthropogenic greenhouse warming. It is likely that a mixture of responses will occur depending on cloud type and meteorological regime, and at present, we do not know what the net effect will be. This presentation will explain why cloud feedbacks have been a challenging scientific problem from the perspective of theory, modeling, and observations. Recent research results on observed multidecadal cloud-atmosphere-ocean variability over the Pacific Ocean will also be shown, along with suggestions for future research.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
FNAL (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States))
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
987794
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-07CH11359
Resource Type:
Multimedia
Resource Relation:
Conference: Fermilab Colloquia, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (FNAL), Batvia, Illinois (United States), presented on May 12, 2010
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CLIMATE CHANGE; POLICY; WARMING

Citation Formats

Norris, Joe. Cloud Feedbacks on Climate: A Challenging Scientific Problem. United States: N. p., 2010. Web.
Norris, Joe. Cloud Feedbacks on Climate: A Challenging Scientific Problem. United States.
Norris, Joe. Wed . "Cloud Feedbacks on Climate: A Challenging Scientific Problem". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/987794.
@article{osti_987794,
title = {Cloud Feedbacks on Climate: A Challenging Scientific Problem},
author = {Norris, Joe},
abstractNote = {One reason it has been difficult to develop suitable social and economic policies to address global climate change is that projected global warming during the coming century has a large uncertainty range. The primary physical cause of this large uncertainty range is lack of understanding of the magnitude and even sign of cloud feedbacks on the climate system. If Earth's cloudiness responded to global warming by reflecting more solar radiation back to space or allowing more terrestrial radiation to be emitted to space, this would mitigate the warming produced by increased anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Contrastingly, a cloud response that reduced solar reflection or terrestrial emission would exacerbate anthropogenic greenhouse warming. It is likely that a mixture of responses will occur depending on cloud type and meteorological regime, and at present, we do not know what the net effect will be. This presentation will explain why cloud feedbacks have been a challenging scientific problem from the perspective of theory, modeling, and observations. Recent research results on observed multidecadal cloud-atmosphere-ocean variability over the Pacific Ocean will also be shown, along with suggestions for future research.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {5}
}

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