Clouds and the Climate Tipping Point


Earnest C. Watson Lecture by Professor Tapio Schneider, “Clouds and the Climate Tipping Point.” Low clouds over subtropical oceans cool Earth’s climate because they reflect most of the sunlight shining on them back to space. It is unclear, however, how the clouds themselves change with climate; this gives rise to large uncertainties in climate change projections. Tapio Schneider’s lecture will show how advances in computing and satellite observations are enabling breakthroughs in the accuracy of climate projections. Such advances have already revealed a tipping point of the climate system: if greenhouse gas concentrations rise high enough, subtropical low clouds may melt away, triggering dramatic global warming.

Tapio Schneider is the Theodore Y. Wu Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at Caltech in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences; and Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist.

Learn more about:
– Professor Schneider’s research:

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