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What Clouds Tell Us About Climate Change

NASA is aiming its satellites at the North Pole in order to study the drops of water in the clouds there. The mystery they want to solve is: why is there so much water in these clouds that isn't frozen? Is this one of the causes?or an effect?of global warming?

In LiveScience.com, Beth Duff-Brown quotes NOAA researcher Taneil Uttal as saying, "?Everybody doing climate predictions says that clouds are perhaps the single greatest unknown factor in understanding global warming?Liquid water has even been detected in clouds at temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 F)?If a cloud is composed of liquid water droplets in the Arctic, instead of ice crystals, then that changes how they will interact with the earth's surface and the atmosphere to reflect, absorb and transmit radiation.''

Duff-Brown also quotes Canadian physicist Jim Drummond as saying, "If we compare the debate over the theory of evolution with the debate over the theory of global warming?global warming's a whole lot more certain at the moment?We are not now arguing about whether global warming is going to happen; the argument has turned to: How big is it going to be?''

In other words, will it change from a ripple effect into a superstorm?

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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