Storm chasers are searching the clouds for the key to climate change

"There are signs that clouds hide even more dangerous tripwires. Earlier this year, Tapio Schneider at the California Institute of Technology simulated the sprawling banks of stratocumulus clouds that currently blanket the oceans. When he tripled the level of carbon dioxide, the clouds abruptly disintegrated. Global temperature shot up 14 degrees, reaching a point last seen 55 million years ago, when crocodiles swam in the Arctic. “It was shocking, my God,” Schneider says. “There are unknown unknowns, things that people didn’t think could happen because climate models don’t capture it, but in reality they might happen. We need to get these models better fast.”


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