New research published by NUI Galway’s Centre for Climate & Air Pollution Studies (C-CAPS) has shone light on the impact of clouds on climate change. The study has raised serious doubts of the likely impact of human-led interventions involving methods of cloud ‘brightening’ to counteract climate change. The new study has been published today in the Nature’s journal – Climate and Atmospheric Science.
The study looks into clouds, with one of the most important types of elements in clouds thought to be sulphate. Clouds, which are made of many droplets of condensed water on air particles, cool the climate by reflecting sunlight. According to recent theories, more air pollution serves as condensation points for cloud droplets leading to more solar reflectance. This has led many to believe that fossil fuel emissions and other air pollutions may off-set global warming through cloud ’brightening’.
The Galway study found the addition of a small amount of sea-salt can dampen the effect of clouds becoming brighter as a result of increased sulphate in the atmosphere. Professor Colin O’Dowd, Director of C-CAPS and Established Chair of Atmospheric Physics, said: “The study backs up our previous thinking that sea-salt will factor out other substances and cause competition between potential nuclei influencing cloud reflectance. This means that recent theories that increased sulphate production can decrease the impact of climate change need to be reconsidered. Science is clearly pointing to the fact that carbon-based human activity is hurting our environment and there’s only one pathway to solve this – less fossil fuel and no interference with nature.”
Researchers from NUI Galway joined the Spanish research vessel BIO Hesperides circling Antarctica’s Southern Ocean, known as the world’s cleanest laboratory. The purpose of the expedition was to examine how the world’s atmosphere is functioning in a pollution free environment.
Lead author Dr Kirsten Fossum commented: “Clouds, particularly those overlying dark ocean surfaces, are the Earth’s key climate regulators, accounting for half of global reflectance. Pollution-induced changes to cloud reflectance, represent the single biggest uncertainty in predicting future climate change. The large area covered and systematic evidence from the cruise to Antarctica provided the vast sample of clean air needed to conclusively support this study.”
The study was funded by SFI through the MaREI centre and the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness. The Antarctic cruise that led to this study was organised by the Institut de Ciéncies del Mar (CSIC), Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
The researchers behind the study run the Mace Head Air Pollution and Climate Laboratory on the west coast of Ireland where they study the cleanest air in Europe and in the northern hemisphere. The team also recently released a unique smartphone app, known as StreamAir, it provides real-time weather forecasting and highlights key drivers of air pollution and climate disruption through air quality indications.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Counteracting climate change
- Cuba holds scientific seminar on climate changeon February 26, 2021 at 12:23 am
During the seminar, on the challenges of confronting climate change, Project Life, the State Plan designed to tackle the phenomenon, will be updated. The project is based on research started in 1991 ...
- Climate Change Is Already Hurting U.S. Communities, Federal Report Sayson February 10, 2021 at 9:00 pm
The report's authors also focus multiple chapters on the health effects of climate change. In a section on air pollution, they write: "Unless counteracting efforts to improve air quality are ...
- North Dakota leaders coalesce against President Joe Biden's climate orderson February 2, 2021 at 3:37 pm
Biden came out of the gates with a string of actions against the fossil fuel industries, part of the new president's ambitious plan to take on climate change. Among early statement moves ...
- Climate change – is David Attenborough right?on February 2, 2021 at 12:56 pm
One simple truth is that population growth is a multiplier of every one of today’s converging sustainability pressures, including climate change ... thus counteracting the adverse effect ...
- No sure bets in the climate debateon January 28, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Climate change is driven by a multitude of forces ... some amplifying warming and others counteracting it. The most sophisticated computer models representing the system are run on supercomputers.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Counteracting climate change
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- Reading weather: BBC weather predicts mostly dry week in Berkshire and sun next weekendon February 28, 2021 at 9:30 pm
Over the last week, the sun has been out and it's finally felt like spring - and the good news is that this week looks mostly dry too. But be warned, across all of Berkshire there is a risk of rain on ...
- Pots of gold: a step-by-step guide for gorgeous spring flowerson February 26, 2021 at 11:00 pm
Want to brighten a windowsill, doorstep or balcony through spring and summer? Here’s everything you need to know to plant perfect pots ...
- ‘RS Interview: Special Edition’ With Bill Gateson February 25, 2021 at 12:56 pm
The billionaire philanthropist on his new book, "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster," the Covid conspiracy theories about him, and why he doubts our ability to get a net-zero energy grid by 2035 ...
- Earth’s long-term climate stabilized by clouds | Nature Geoscienceon February 25, 2021 at 12:35 pm
Reduced planetary albedo due to fewer low clouds on early Earth could explain some 40% of the required forcing to offset the faint young Sun, according to global climate model experiments.
- Best Sheet Masks And Where To Get Them Cheap In Singaporeon February 24, 2021 at 7:13 pm
There’s literally a sheet mask for every skin concern you can think of, whether it’s a hydrating, acne-targeted, glow-boosting, or brightening mask ... that make you feel like you’re floating on cloud ...