The Kiwis Tell Us the Sky is Falling

Photo Credit: NASA Earth Observatory

Chicken Little, you’re finally right. The sky is starting to fall.

Well, not really. It’s just that average cloud height has decreased by 1 per cent over the last decade – that’s about 30-40 metres. How? Scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand analyzed cloud height data gleaned over the last decade from the Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) on NASA’s Terra spacecraft. Their findings revealed that fewer clouds appear to be occurring at very high altitudes now.

Lead researcher Roger Davis comments, “This is the first time we have been able to accurately measure changes in global cloud height and, while the record is too short to be definitive, it provides just a hint that something quite important might be going on.”

Cloud height has notoriously been one of the most difficult things for meteorologists to pin down and this accurate measurement is pretty much a big deal in the community.

The fact that there’s a trend is an even bigger deal. Though he said that the study was too short to really draw any conclusions, whispers of a “negative feedback” mechanism to counteract global warming are being discussed.

While they’re not sure why the clouds are lowering, the speculation is that it’s due to some sort of change in the circulation patterns that creates the clouds at high altitude.

And so it would seem that the Earth begins to fix itself against the damage the parasite called Human has done to it.

It kind of reminds me of the History Channel’s “Life After People” – will all evidence of our civilisation disappear, leaving only the mineral parts that we are made of? Will the Earth simply fix itself when we are gone?

Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. I mean, they’re only 1% lower right?

[Via Science Daily and The University of Auckland]


6 Responses to The Kiwis Tell Us the Sky is Falling

  1. We don't know why this has changed, and therefore have difficulty speculating — in large part because accurate records of such things are so hard to make. And yet the author of this piece automatically assumes that this is some sort of defense mechanism against humanity?

    I wouldn't have had an issue if it had been couched in speculation, but that was just weird. Science, please.

  2. Global warming and cooling are a natural part of the earth's cycle. We've never before been able to measure what these important climate changes entail, and it is thus incredibly possible that air patterns–and thus cloud height–are a normal part of the cycle.

    If you want to do some research on cool things that have happened because of Climate Change (natural, run-of-the-mill climate change), then look up Medieval Warming and how it pertains to Ghangis Khan. There are many historians and anthropologists who believe that, without Medieval Warming, he would not have been able to move very far out of the Mongolian grasslands, and thus would not have shaped World History like he did.

    What? Humans benefiting from climate change? Heinous! Unless you look at the end of the Pleistocene era, the land bridge from Asia to Alaska, and the impending receding continental and alpine glaciers.

    Granted, there is much evidence that our current climate shifts are also dealing with human chemicals and poisons, but there is nothing which links those changes to cloud height.

  3. my guess is that there are many gasses in the earth that humans are releasing into the atmosphere, and the level of the cloud is falling due to the lighter gasses taking up the layer within our innerspace… what would be the better question is what the outer atmosphere is doing.

  4. It’s been proven over and over again that ecosystems are fairly robust. Check out photos of the areas around Chernobyl for a perfect example. In as little as twenty years the forests have reclaimed the city, despite the radiation.

  5. answer: clouds are thirsty and want to come down to drink water.

    its foggy as hell where im at right now :(

    climate change is normal, its just a scam. yes, we should be mindful of what our actions do to our environments, but most of it happens naturally in the long run anyways.

  6. Ultimately it doesn't matter. "She will take it back." It is important to remember one word when deciding between the Nissan Leaf and the Hummer: R E S P E C T

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