This is a discussion of clouds precisely because they are a very important part of the climate puzzle.
“Clearing Clouds of Uncertainty by Mark Zelinka, David Randall, Mark Webb and Steven Klein. Their commentary is really a summary of our recent understanding and – as illustrated by the figure on the right – they conclude that the evidence is converging on the cloud feedback likely being positive.”
From FAR 1990 positive but cloud feedback represented the largest source of uncertainty in climate sensitivity among atmospheric models.
To SAR Second Assessment Report; 1995), more climate models were predicting the mass of cloud liquid and ice, and generally finding negative cloud opacity feedbacks, albeit of widely differing strengths. The report concluded that it was not possible at that time to judge the sign of the net cloud feedback.
TAR 2001 …the sign of [the cloud] feedback remains unknown.
AR4 2007 it is not yet possible to assess which of the model estimates of cloud feedback is the most reliable
AR5 “The sign of the net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is…likely positive”
BUT Cloud opacity feedback “is highly uncertain”
“I don’t really see why I should be expected to post comments that are certain, but wrong.”
I repeated a fact, “Averaged globally and annually, clouds cause cooling ” from the article overview. I said in view of this,
“any increase in cloud cover should have a stronger negative than a positive effect.”
The current point of view says this is likely wrong but admit to high uncertainty still in areas like cloud opacity. There is a threefold variation in the global sensitivity parameter FAR 1990 due to
differences in cloud feedback.
This is a most important discussion which is not yet settled and needs open discussion.
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