Thermodynamics of climate change between cloud cover, atmospheric temperature and humidity
30 de octubre de 2021
Nature | Scientific Reports
Autores: Víctor Mendoza, Marni Pazos, René Garduño & Blanca Mendoza*
* Departamento de Ciencias Atmosféricas | Modelos Climáticos
n a global and annual average, we find a parameterization in which the cloud cover increase is proportional to the mid tropospheric temperature increase, with a negative proportionality factor. If the relative humidity is conserved throughout the troposphere, a 1 °C heating (cooling) of the mid troposphere, decreases (increases) the cloud cover by 1.5 percentage points (pp). But if the relative humidity is not conserved, then the cloud cover decreases (increases) by 7.6 pp. If the shortwave reflection effect of the cloud cover is dominant on a global scale, this parameterization leads to a predominant positive feedback: if the temperature increases like in the current climate change, the cloud cover decreases and more solar radiation reaches the surface increasing the temperature even more. The contribution of the present work consists in finding that the negative sign of the proportionality factor is due to the Clausius–Clapeyron equation; that is, to the magnitude of the derivative of the saturation vapor pressure at the typical standard surface temperature of 288 K. The negative sign of the factor is independent on the conservation or non-conservation of relative humidity in the troposphere under climate change.