Claim: Global warming makes clouds move

They’ve analyzed the cloud record?

The media release is below.


Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis
Scripps-led study confirms computerized climate simulations projecting effects of global warming


A Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California San Diego-led research team analyzing satellite cloud records has found that the cloudy storm tracks on Earth are moving toward the poles and subtropical dry zones are expanding. Cloud tops are also moving higher in the atmosphere.

The record confirms computer climate models that have predicted these changes to have taken place during the past several decades as a consequence of the accumulation of societally generated greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

“What this paper brings to the table is the first credible demonstration that the cloud changes we expect from climate models and theory are currently happening,” said study lead author Joel Norris, a climate researcher at Scripps.

With the simultaneous roles clouds play in cooling and heating the planet – reflecting solar radiation back to space but also trapping solar energy in their structures – clouds are among the most important variables in climate.

Their complex behavior has been one of the biggest areas of uncertainty for scientists attempting to understand current climate and forecast future trends.

Inconsistent satellite imaging of clouds over the decades has been a hindrance to improving scientists’ understanding. Records of cloudiness from satellites originally designed to monitor weather are prone to spurious trends related to changes in satellite orbit, instrument calibration, degradation of sensors over time, and other factors.

When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record, the data exhibited large-scale patterns of cloud change between the 1980s and 2000s that are consistent with climate model predictions for that time period, including poleward retreat of mid-latitude storm tracks, expansion of subtropical dry zones, and increasing height of the highest cloud tops. These cloud changes enhance absorption of solar radiation by the earth and reduce emission of thermal radiation to space. This exacerbates global warming caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.

The researchers drew from several independent corrected satellite records in their analysis. They concluded that the behavior of clouds they observed is consistent with a human-caused increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and a planet-wide recovery from two major volcanic eruptions, the 1982 El Chichón eruption in Mexico and the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines. Aerosols ejected from those eruptions had a net cooling effect on the planet for several years after they took place.

Barring another volcanic event of this sort, the scientists expect the cloud trends to continue in the future as the planet continues to warm due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations.


10 thoughts on “Claim: Global warming makes clouds move”

  1. And here I’ve lived for almost 60 years thinking that wind made clouds move. Learn sumpn every day, eh?

  2. Curious how those who receive funding from those who promote the ‘global warming’ scam come up with ‘opinions’ which support those who promote the ‘global warming’ scam.

  3. “When the researchers removed such artifacts from the record…” is as far as you need to go to understand how they got the result. They wanted to fit the climate models, so they used a model to scrub the historical record of artifacts.

  4. I would be skeptical of corrected data with out seeing both data sets and the method used to correct. When I adjusted data for what I thought was spurious datum I always did this. I would be even more skeptical when they are “adjusting” multiple factors in data collected without the observation criteria desired, thus this cannot be taken as any sort of proof. Apparently the author just used somebody else’s data.

    Regardless of your position about climate change issues only rigorous data should be used to make conclusions.

  5. They apparently have “corrected” the historical imaging records for cloud cover so they now “fit” their computer model simulations (thereby confirming the models!). Sounds exactly like what NOAA did with the historic TEMPERATURE records. This apparently is the new scientific method.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.