Scientists from the University Of Wyoming have conducted a research on the smoke emitted by the wildfires in South Africa and noticed that it is traveling above the Atlantic Ocean and is creating a shiny cover along with the clouds found there which reflects the sunshine. According to the specialists, surprisingly, the wildfires in South Africa are producing climate cooling.
The wildfires’ smoke is changing the Atlantic Ocean’s cloud formations
“If you change the particles, you are changing the composition of the cloud. For our study, we found the smoke comes down and can mix within the clouds. The changed clouds are more reflective of sunlight. Brighter clouds counteract the greenhouse effect. It creates cooling,” explained Xiaohong Liu, a professor at the University of Wyoming and one of the study’s authors.
The researchers entitled their work “Biomass Smoke from Southern Africa Can Significantly Enhance the Brightness of Stratocumulus over the Southeastern Atlantic Ocean” and published the study today in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences”.
Previous studies were blaming the wildfires’ smoke of lowering the clouds’ cooling
Many studies have been conducted on the effects the wildfires’ smoke has on clouds and, in the end, on the climate. According to those studies, the smoke is reducing the clouds’ ability of cooling.
However, the researchers who conducted the new study are not quite sure that, after all, the wildfires’ smoke is contributing to global warming. Instead, the new research, which has been conducted by using the Wyoming Supercomputing Center in Cheyenne to design a simulation of the smoke’s effects on cloud and climate, depicts that, in reality, the smoke is changing the clouds’ structures and is creating a very reflective layer which is reducing the greenhouse effect.
Puzzled by the new findings, Xiaohong Liu and his colleagues, who revealed that the wildfires in South Africa are producing climate cooling, are planning to further study the phenomenon trying to find a way to use it against the greenhouse effect.