Brought to You by www.SEPP.org, The Science and Environmental Policy Project
By Ken Haapala, President
Importance of Clouds: MIT Sloan Professor of Meteorology emeritus Richard Lindzen wrote TWTW stating that, in the past weeks, TWTW may have underemphasized the importance of clouds and overemphasized water vapor in their roles of causing climate change. Perhaps TWTW did because the role of El Niños in influencing atmospheric temperatures trends can easily be seen by looking at a graph of the entire record since December 1978. El Niños put a lot of water vapor into the air and temperatures peak quickly, then fall slowly as the moisture drops out. The influence is particularly strong in the Arctic, where there is little water vapor in the atmosphere. But the El Niño influence is not strong in the dry Antarctic, for reasons not clear.