In a nutshell, with a −1.6%per decade change in cloud cover during 1954–2005, it becomes a climate forcing. While China is not the world, it bears consideration.
The Hockey Schtick reports:
A paper published last week finds that cloud cover over China significantly decreased during the period 1954-2005. This finding is in direct contradiction to the theory of man-made global warming which presumes that warming allegedly from CO2 ‘should’ cause an increase in water vapor and cloudiness. The authors also find the decrease in cloud cover was not related to man-made aerosols, and thus was likely a natural phenomenon, potentially a result of increased solar activity via the Svensmark theory or other mechanisms. As climatologist Dr. Roy Spencer has pointed out his book,
“The most obvious way for warming to be caused naturally is for small, natural fluctuations in the circulation patterns of the atmosphere and ocean to result in a 1% or 2% decrease in global cloud cover. Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”
Ann. Geophys., 30, 573-582, 2012
LAGEO, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100029, China
An updated analysis of cloud cover during 1954–2005 in China was performed using homogeneous cloud cover data from 314 stations. Long-term changes in frequencies of different cloud cover categories and their contributions to long-term changes in cloud cover were assessed. Furthermore, aerosol effects on cloud cover trends were discussed based on comparison of cloud cover trends in polluted and mildly polluted regions. Frequencies of clear sky (cloud cover <20%) and overcast days (cloud cover >80%) were observed to increase by ~2.2 days and decrease by ~3.3 days per decade, respectively, which accounts for ~80% of cloud cover reduction. Larger decreasing trends in cloud cover due to larger increase in clear sky frequency and larger decreases in overcast frequency were observed at stations with lower aerosol optical depth. There is no significant difference in trends regarding cloud cover, clear sky frequency, and overcast frequency between mountain and plain stations. These results are inconsistent with our expectation that larger decreasing trends in cloud cover should have been observed in regions with higher aerosol loading where more aerosols could lead to stronger obscuring effect on ground observation of cloud cover and stronger radiative effect as compared with the mildly polluted regions. Aerosol effect on decreasing cloud cover in China appear not to be supported by this analysis and therefore, further study on this issue is required.
A homogeneous cloud cover dataset in China was used to study long-term changes in cloud cover and frequencies of cloud cover categories. A simple yet effective statistical method was applied to study quantitative contributions of graded cloud cover frequency to the overall trend in cloud cover. The relationship between AOD and cloud cover trend was analyzed to discuss aerosol effects on decadal trend of cloud cover. Major conclusions follow.
Significant decline in cloud cover with trend of −1.6%per decade during 1954–2005 was derived. Occurrences of clear sky (cloud cover <20 %) and overcast days (>80 %) were observed to increase and decline by 2.2 days per decade and 3.3 days per decade, respectively. Approximately 80% of overall trend of cloud cover is attributable to an increase in clear-sky days and a decline in overcast days.
Larger decreasing cloud-amount trends have been observed due to larger increasing clear sky frequency and larger decreasing overcast frequency at stations with lower AOD.
There is not significant difference among trends of cloud cover, clear sky frequency, and overcast sky frequency between mountain and plain stations. These analyses do not
support the speculation that the decreasing trend of cloud cover in regions with higher AOD should be larger than that in mildly polluted regions due to stronger aerosol obscuring effect on ground observation of cloud cover and stronger radiative effect in polluted regions. This suggests that causes for significant decreasing trend in cloud cover in China require further study.
Link to the full paper is here: http://www.ann-geophys.net/30/573/2012/angeo-30-573-2012.pdf