Cloud data a silver lining for climate change predictions
Clouds above the Southern Ocean could hold the key to more accurate global climate change predictions. University of Canterbury (UC) researchers have led a Deep South National Science Challenge project to collect information about cloud formations near Antarctica.
He says clouds are important because they regulate how much solar radiation reaches the earth’s surface, and also absorb thermal radiation from Earth.
They can play a warming or cooling role depending on their altitude, shape and density.
“Clouds are the biggest uncertainty for the models used when calculating climate change and the Southern Ocean is an area where they struggle the most,” Kuma says.
“It’s one of the world’s most inaccessible places so accurate measurements of clouds there have been hard to get and are usually based on satellite information, which misses lower level cloud.