Clouds are getting lower.

Here’s something I never thought to wonder about: the average height of clouds. From March 2000–February 2010, clouds got 100–130 feet lower. There’s no long-term monitoring, so it’s not clear whether this is part of a larger trend. One theory is that this might be part of a negative feedback loop as the planet responds to global climate change, allowing the surface to release heat into space to counteract warming. 

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “Clouds are getting lower.”

  1. One of the scary things about global warming is the “unknown unknowns”, to use the one sane thing I can recall Rumsfeld ever saying. We *know* about e.g. methane clathrates, which are seriously frightening in a warming-promoting positive feedback loop sense — but what other processes and reservoirs do we have no clue about? Any of them could bring positive feedback in either direction, or negative feedback to stabilize at some unknown point.

    Everything we *do* know about at this point indicates runaway warming, but global climate science is a very young field. We’re groping around in the dark for solutions that could *also* invoke runaway processes of their own.

    Obviously, we can’t not act, but drastic measures get us into some entirely blind territory.

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