Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-817
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2022-817
 
19 Dec 2022
19 Dec 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Opposing trends of cloud coverage over land and ocean under global warming

Huan Liu, Ilan Koren, Orit Altaratz, and Mickael D. Chekroun Huan Liu et al.
  • Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel

Abstract. Clouds play a key role in Earth's energy budget and water cycle. Their response to global warming contributes the largest uncertainty to climate prediction. Here, by performing an empirical orthogonal function analysis on 42 years of reanalysis data of global cloud coverage, we extract clear trend and ENSO-associated modes. The trend mode translates spatially to a decreasing trend in cloud coverage over most continents and an increasing trend over the tropical and subtropical oceans. A reduction in near-surface relative humidity can explain the decreasing trend in cloud coverage over land. Our results suggest potential stress on the terrestrial water cycle and changes in the energy partition between land and ocean, all associated with global warming.

Huan Liu et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on acp-2022-817', Anonymous Referee #1, 10 Jan 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on acp-2022-817', Anonymous Referee #2, 16 Jan 2023

Huan Liu et al.

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Short summary
Clouds' response to global warming contributes the largest uncertainty to climate prediction. Here, we analyze 42 years of global cloud cover data and show a decreasing trend over most continents and an increasing trend over the tropical and subtropical oceans. A reduction in near-surface relative humidity can explain the decreasing trend in cloud cover over land. Our results suggest potential stress on the terrestrial water cycle, associated with global warming.
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