Scientists have found out why clouds disappear during an eclipse and what the danger is

By SSPDailyMar 18, 2024 18:54 PMNews
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Why clouds disappear during an eclipse and what the danger is
Why clouds disappear during an eclipse and what the danger is. Source: downtoearth.org.in

Scientists have long noticed that during solar eclipses, cumulus clouds quickly disappear. This happens even during a partial eclipse when the Moon covers only 15% of the Sun. For a long time, the nature of this phenomenon remained a mystery, but now researchers have figured out what is happening and warn people against the consequences of cloud disappearance. SSPDaily leaned more about it.

This is reported by the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

A group of scientists from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and Delft University of Technology found that during an eclipse, only clouds disappear, which act as a kind of light filter, reflecting the sun's rays back into space and preventing the Earth from overheating. Moreover, this phenomenon is observed only over land.

The researchers studied meteorological data collected during three solar eclipses over Africa between 2005 and 2016. They found that the disappearance of clouds is related to the nature of their appearance.

When the Earth's surface heats up, it heats the air, which, according to the law of physics, rushes upward, carrying water vapor. Once in the higher and colder layers of the atmosphere, this vapor condenses and turns into clouds.

During a solar eclipse, the Earth's surface cools rapidly, and the upward flow of warm air decreases, while cumulus clouds dissipate. They reappear only after the eclipse is over, and the Earth begins to heat up again.

This phenomenon does not occur over the sea because water cools and heats up much more slowly.

Study leader Viktor Trisa noted that the findings of their study are of great importance for future climate engineering experiments.

Pitfalls of artificial climate change

Many scientists around the world are looking for solutions to help cope with global warming. One of these projects, which should reduce the planet's heating, is shielding the sun's rays (which is what happens during a solar eclipse).

Computer modeling shows that blocking some of the sun's rays should effectively reduce air temperatures. However, a study by Victor Tris and his team shows that this method can have serious consequences.

That is, if the Sun is obscured by artificial screens, this will, on the one hand, lower the temperature, and on the other hand, lead to the disappearance of natural screens, clouds. Thus, the effectiveness of climate engineering will be highly questionable.

According to the team of scientists, more research is needed before implementing climate engineering ideas, so as not to trigger a fatal chain reaction of events that will further exacerbate the climate crisis.

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