Press Esc to close
Friday 28 July 2017
News updated at 2:51 AM IST

Water in Earth's atmosphere may cause climate warming

Washington, Oct 6, 2013 (PTI) 18:34 IST
File photo.
Water vapour in Earth's stratosphere contributes to warmer temperatures and likely plays an important role in the evolution of climate on our planet, a new study has found.

Researchers found that increased surface temperatures, such as from the addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, leads to increased humidity in the stratosphere.

Because stratospheric water vapour is a greenhouse gas, this leads to additional warming, they said. This cycle is frequently called a climate feedback.

"We find that this stratospheric water vapour feedback is probably responsible for 5-10 per cent of the total warming you get from adding carbon dioxide to the climate," Andrew Dessler, a Texas A&M university atmospheric sciences professor, said.

"While it's not really surprising that this process is going on, we were surprised at how important the process is for our climate system," said Dessler.

Climate models already include this process, but unevenly. Some models predict large increases in stratospheric humidity, while others don't, researchers said.

"It's clear to us that, if models want to make accurate predictions of climate change, they should get stratospheric water vapour right," said Sean Davis, scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder and study coauthor.

"A better understanding of the stratospheric water vapour feedback could help explain some of the spread among predictions of future climate change from different models," Davis said, referring to the projections made by the recently released 5th Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Dessler was the first to observationally calculate the strength of the cloud feedback, showing that clouds play a key role in climate change.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan...

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calling on President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan...

Wrestlers practice for the 'Dangal Akhada' on the eve of Nag Panchami festival in Jabalpur...

Wrestlers practice for the 'Dangal Akhada' on the eve of Nag Panchami festival in Jabalpur...

A bonnet macaque sits on consecrated idols of snakes as it drinks milk offered by a devotee...

A bonnet macaque sits on consecrated idols of snakes as it drinks milk offered by a devotee...

Nitish Kumar and Shushil Kumar Modi wave at gathering after they were sworn-in as Bihar Chief...

Nitish Kumar and Shushil Kumar Modi wave at gathering after they were sworn-in as Bihar Chief...

Indian women's national team captain Mithali Raj at a felicitating event for India women's cricket..

Indian women's national team captain Mithali Raj at a felicitating event for India women's cricket..

A woman security official offfers a rose to a woman pilgrim as she leaves for Saudi Arabia...

A woman security official offfers a rose to a woman pilgrim as she leaves for Saudi Arabia...

India's team members and bowler Mohammed Shami, center, celebrate the dismissal of Sri Lanka's...

India's team members and bowler Mohammed Shami, center, celebrate the dismissal of Sri Lanka's...

Children play in a water logged street after heavy rains in Kolkata on Thursday...

Children play in a water logged street after heavy rains in Kolkata on Thursday...

Workers of RJD and Congress shout slogans and burn an effigy of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar...

Workers of RJD and Congress shout slogans and burn an effigy of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar...

Children dressed up like tiger for the 'Tiger my Friend' programme on the occasion...

Children dressed up like tiger for the 'Tiger my Friend' programme on the occasion...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.