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Role of clouds vastly underestimated, global warming much worse than predicted


Climate change projections have vastly underestimated the role that clouds play, meaning future warming could be far worse than is currently projected, according to new research.

Researchers said that a doubling of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere compared with pre-industrial times could result in a global temperature increase of up to 5.3C – far warmer than the 4.6C older models predict.

The analysis of satellite data, led by Yale University, found that clouds have much more liquid in them, rather than ice, than has been assumed until now. Clouds with ice crystals reflect more solar light than those with liquid in them, stopping it reaching and heating the Earth’s surface.



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