Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Climate change scientists must turn their attention to clean skies, experts urge

Date:
November 6, 2013
Source:
University of Leeds
Summary:
Natural aerosols, such as emissions from volcanoes or plants, may contribute more uncertainty than previously thought to estimates of how the climate might respond to greenhouse gas emissions.

Natural aerosols, such as emissions from volcanoes or plants, may contribute more uncertainty than previously thought to estimates of how the climate might respond to greenhouse gas emissions.

Related Articles


An international team of researchers, led by the University of Leeds, has shown that the effect of aerosols on the climate since industrialisation depends strongly on what the atmosphere was like before pollution -- when aerosols were produced only from natural emissions. The research will be published in the journal Nature on 7 November.

Professor Ken Carslaw, from the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds and lead author of the study, said: "We have shown that our poor knowledge of aerosols prior to the industrial revolution dominates the uncertainty in how aerosols have affected clouds and climate.

"In order to better understand climate change, we need to turn our attention towards understanding very clean regions of the atmosphere -- as might have existed in the mid-1700s. Such regions are incredibly rare now, but we are looking for them."

Aerosols tend to increase the brightness of clouds, which would increase the reflection of solar radiation to space, thereby partially masking the climate-warming effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Firmly establishing the effect of aerosol-induced changes on cloud brightness is an important challenge for climate scientists.

In an assessment of 28 factors that could affect the uncertainties in cloud brightness, the researchers found that 45% of the variance comes from natural aerosols, compared with 34% for human-generated aerosols. (Aerosol processes, such as how quickly they are removed from the atmosphere, account for the remaining uncertainty.)

"Our results provide a clear path for scientists to reduce the uncertainty in aerosol effects on climate because we have been able to rank the causes for the uncertainty," concludes Professor Carslaw.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Leeds. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. S. Carslaw, L. A. Lee, C. L. Reddington, K. J. Pringle, A. Rap, P. M. Forster, G. W. Mann, D. V. Spracklen, M. T. Woodhouse, L. A. Regayre, J. R. Pierce. Large contribution of natural aerosols to uncertainty in indirect forcing. Nature, 2013; 503 (7474): 67 DOI: 10.1038/nature12674

Cite This Page:

University of Leeds. "Climate change scientists must turn their attention to clean skies, experts urge." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106131948.htm>.
University of Leeds. (2013, November 6). Climate change scientists must turn their attention to clean skies, experts urge. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106131948.htm
University of Leeds. "Climate change scientists must turn their attention to clean skies, experts urge." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131106131948.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

Raw: Rare Clouds Fill Grand Canyon

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) For the second time in two months, a rare weather phenomenon filled the Grand Canyon with thick clouds just below the rim on Wednesday. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

Senate Passes Bill for Keystone XL Pipeline

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) The Republican-controlled Senate has passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

"Cloud Inversion" In Grand Canyon

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 29, 2015) Time lapse video captures a blanket of clouds amassing in the Grand Canyon -- the result of a rare meteorological process called "cloud inversion." Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Why Researchers Say We Should Cut Back On Biofuels

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) Biofuels aren&apos;t the best alternative to fossil fuels, according to a new report. In fact, they&apos;re quite a bad one. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins