Can Clouds Buy Us More Time To Solve Climate Change

from TED

Climate change is real, case closed. But there’s still a lot we don’t understand about it, and the more we know the better chance we have to slow it down. One still-unknown factor: How might clouds play a part? There’s a small hope that they could buy us some time to fix things … or they could make global warming worse. Climate scientist Kate Marvel takes us through the science of clouds and what it might take for Earth to break its own fever.

More here.

, , ,

22 Responses to Can Clouds Buy Us More Time To Solve Climate Change

  1. Jake Malek October 18, 2018 at 9:22 am #

    A very interesting Ted Talk that I enjoyed listening too. When initially opening the video, I thought the speaker was going to offer some unsupported correlation between cloud coverage and decreased temperature projection. But it wasn’t that. I was pleasantly surprised to hear of the uncertainty of clouds effect on climate change. As Kate Marvel explains, this uncertainty can be seen as hope for earth’s ever increasing temperatures. I was amazed to hear how the earth was ? covered by clouds and that clouds block 20% of sun rays. When I heard these stats I became very hopeful in that clouds would earth’s savior and fix all of global warming! But, with all uncertainty there is a worst case scenario which she later explained to be very dangerous.

    As she broke down the two different styles of clouds (high vs. low), I believed she explained each clouds different role in global warming very well. As I was going into this video with no former knowledge on the different types of clouds, she easily related with the audience to give everyone a very general understanding of how each cloud effects global warming.

    At the end of the presentations, I was surprised when she said, “I don’t think clouds will save the planet, I think that’s probably up to us”. I think this was a very powerful quote for her to end on to bring the responsibility of stopping global warming back to people. She was emphasizing that the responsibility of global warming couldn’t be put on the clouds duties because humans are uncertain of the clouds’ future actions. The only thing that Kate Marvel could be sure about was global warming are caused by human action which she knows she can change the future of. Overall, I think this was a great presentation on a topic that I initially thought would be boring and vague.

  2. Aaliyah W October 18, 2018 at 2:27 pm #

    As mentioned on, climate change is “a long-term change in the Earth’s climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature”. Throughout the years global warming has increased drastically and is a big reason why there is climate change today. When carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) is released into the environment, it causes the planet to heat up. It has got to the point where it is almost uncontrollable. Individuals do not realize that we are the cause of global warming, that leads to climate change. All the factories we have, gasoline powered cars, and pollution either releases hazardous gases or destroys the environment. For the state of New Jersey there are four seasons, winter, spring, summer, and fall. But recently I realized that instead of there being four seasons, it is becoming only two. The warm months are getting hotter and the cool months are becoming colder. Right now, in October we are already reaching temperatures of 30 degrees Fahrenheit to 49 degrees Fahrenheit.

    For us to slow down climate change, we need to understand how it works and what affects it. In this Ted talk, it discusses how clouds play a part in climate change and whether it could be used for the better of climate change or make it worse. Clouds “are formed when microscopic water droplets or ice crystals coalesce around tiny particles”. We always see clouds in the sky and never wonder about how they could be affecting the temperature, but just about how beautiful they are. We are oblivious to the fact that clouds play a role in temperature and no one ever pays close attention to that. As Kate brought up, the lower the clouds are the cooler it will be, because it is not allowing the heat to get to us from the atmosphere. On the other hand, when the clouds are higher up it is holding the heat and not letting it go back up to the atmosphere, which acts as a greenhouse effect. The higher the clouds become, the higher the temperature increases. From what I understood from this talk is that, for climate change to somewhat decrease/ slow down, there would have to be a way to get clouds to move closer to us.

    What we need to realize is that clouds or anything else is not going to fix climate change, but in fact it is up to us to change our lifestyles to better the environment and climate.

  3. Amy Rheel October 18, 2018 at 6:03 pm #

    This really open my mind to seeing a new angle of how we as a human nation have found a new way to buy time where we can fix the way we live. A way that is not so selfish and demanding; but a lifestyle where we constantly think about the stress we put this earth under in order to make ourselves happy. The scientist in this TED talk explained that through their climate change models to finding how much hotter the earth temperature will be, is basically ineffective since their computer systems cannot track what the cloud behavior will be. Through this TED talk we can see how beneficial clouds are to the environment through a way to shade the planet away from the sun. Which can be used in a valuable way for us to be able to manage how we can find other outlets to take the heat off of the earth. That low thick clouds prevent the earth shade which will make the planet cooler in the long run. The ted talk also mention a very important part that as we are damaging the earth causing global warming which may affect clouds later in the future. Clouds have no real path as in they are constantly changing which causes stress from not knowing if they can help shade the earth for a long time as we need them too in order to cool off the planet temperature. Overall this was definitely an eye opener and a sign of hope for the planet if we continuing putting research in to the pillows above our heads, that they offer so much more that we could imagine for our future.

  4. Henry Steck October 19, 2018 at 10:22 am #

    “I am a climate scientist, and I hate weather” I really liked this TED talk. I never assumed that low clouds could contribute to slowing global warming. It looks like they have a net positive effect so far, but we are unsure about the future.

    Although the speaker levels with us that climate models are likely wrong, I like how she points out that models are simply research tools. They are not time machines. We have the same misconception when it comes to models such as DCFs in finance. These are clairvoyant projections in which we make assumptions. They represent what we think is most likely to happen, but do not represent the “truth”.

    There is not computer that is powerful enough to track all of the particles that help form clouds, as the speaker points out. The climate models, as the speaker also points out, can make assumptions that focus on the big picture when looking to set out potential scenarios for the future. Perhaps quantum computing can help us interpret far more detailed data. As the speaker points out, we need to see all of the clouds, all the time. This is difficult. Quantum could pair well with better satellites to collect and interpret data on the clouds and their impact on global warming.

    Clouds serve a dual role, low clouds acting like a sun shade, and high clouds that act like the glass of a greenhouse. This was a phenomenal point that captured the nuanced role clouds play.

    Uncertainty is not ignorance says the speaker. We may not know exactly what will happen, but we have an idea of the general direction of events. This is why it is so important that Denmark runs on 100% renewable energy and France will phase out hydrocarbon burning vehicles by 2040. We need to be taking steps to combat the changes we see taking place. As the speaker also points out, we only have one earth, and it is our job to protect it.

    The United States recently withdrew from the Paris Accord. This for many represented a meaningful step in the wrong direction in terms of the US combating climate change. To me it also speaks volumes that emissions codes are top notch in states like California, but not nationwide.

  5. Nicholas Stefanelli October 19, 2018 at 12:48 pm #

    Even though it, not a well-known fact but significantly 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by clouds at any given time during a day. In addition to this, not all clouds are the same; different types of clouds affect the Earth’s climate differently. While some types of clouds help to warm the Earth, others help to cool it. In regards to this, we know that our earth is having climate change issues due to Global warming. As I was reading and watching the Ted talk with Kate Marvel I could not stop thinking about what I learned in my science class my junior year about clouds. I remember there are stratus, Cirrus, and Cumulus clouds. As she was talking about how clouds could possibly give us more time, I could not help but think yea they could but that is only going to happen if we have one type of cloud.
    To understand what I mean you must first understand what the three different types of clouds I mentioned before stand for and do. Stratus clouds are hanging low in the sky usually within two kilometers of the Earth’s surface and resemble a gray blanket covering thousands of miles of sky. Because these clouds block sunlight from reaching the Earth, they act like a sunscreen or shady umbrella but instead of it just keeping us cool it also helps cool the Earth. Therefore, they have a net cooling effect that helps offset warming. This is one type of cloud through the other two, which are Cirrus and Cumulus, have the opposite effect. I would not go into detail about them but the important thing to know about this they cause the earth to become warmer / and or keep it warm.
    To me, this means that we have a one-third chance of this actually helping us and that is if that most of the Earth somehow can be covered most of the time with Stratus clouds. Which also to me sounds like it is going to be a shot in the dark because they only form during certain conditions. This being said Cumulus clouds are the most common, which have an opposite effect. I will say I did really enjoy the Ted talk and I do hope we find a solution to Global warming but I do not think we should bank on the clouds to give us more time.

  6. Jaden Tate October 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm #

    It is no surprise that the Earth is warming at a ridiculous rate but what is odd is the fact that clouds are not helping the Earth out at all. It blows my mind that clouds are hurting the Earth more than they are helping them. Being a softball player, I am outside in the sun all the time, and when the clouds are out and cover the sun for just a little bit, it is the best thing ever. It is crazy though that the thick low clouds are hurting the Earth. It feels so good to have the temperature go down just a little bit by the sun rays being covered up. It blows my mind that even though it is cooling me down, it is actually heating up the Earth. In the TED talk, Kate had said that the low, thick clouds are speeding up the warming of the heat. The clouds trap the heat of the rays allowing for the temperature of the world to rise faster. Between the high and low clouds, the low clouds change temperature with the Earth. The high clouds rise up as the temperature increases allowing the clouds to stay the same temperature. Though the problem with high clouds as though they are acting as almost like a blanket. They are leaving the cooling air to space while not allowing for the heat from the Earth to be able to escape. Regardless, clouds are doing more harm than good to the Earth. I wonder if there is any way that scientists could come up with some type of particle that they could release into the air to allow for clouds to break up just a little bit more instead of being clumped up together. Think of a cotton ball as being a cloud. If the scientist were able to come up with a way to stretch apart the cotton ball to allow for the rays to travel through the stretched out/stringy spaces of the cotton ball. In doing this is it will enable the heat to no longer be trapped only on Earth letting it travel to the area. Clouds though are not the only problem since we as human admit so much greenhouse gas into the air that we don’t notice. This not only hurts us but it severely impacts the generations behind us. The glaciers are melting as well as animals such as the polar bear are going extinct since they are being forced off of the ice sheets in search of food. If we as humans do not take this more seriously we as humans are going to struggle to try to live on Earth.

    • Mackenzie Greenfield October 19, 2018 at 2:02 pm #

      I did not realize that clouds could be playing a role in climate change. Scientists don’t yet have a handle on what role they are playing but it is important to our understanding of climate change to study what roles they may have. The possible dual effect is interesting. They may act as a shield and protect the planet from solar radiation or they may actually have an insulating effect and keep the heat in which can intensify global warming. Kate Marvel’s talk reminds us that we still have a lot to learn about climate change. She talks about climate models and how they are not perfect and different models can predict differently. That makes sense given that models are built on what we know and obviously we don’t know everything. Models are limited by the data we enter into them and, as suggested in the talk, there are gaps in that data.
      I especially like the statement that “Uncertainty is not ignorance”. Some, who would prefer not to believe that global warming is happening, might try to twist that uncertainty to support their viewpoint. They may say that, since scientists do not have a good understanding of global warming, how can they say for sure that global warming is real. As Kate Marvel says, global warming is here. We may not have a clear understanding of all aspects of global warming but there are telltale signs that it is here. Not having a thorough understanding of the problem does not mean there is not a problem.

  7. Douglas Tkac October 19, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    Kate Marvel’s TED talk is one of the most informative and well-put TED talks I have seen, and I have seen A LOT of TED talks so far through high school and college. The way that she presented her information and used bits and pieces of humor kept me drawn in and did not lead me to writing about a different blog post instead.

    However, let us discuss the meat and potatoes of her TED talk: the planet is heating up. Global warming is real enough to pose a significant threat within the next decade, and if we do not act up fast, destruction is imminent for almost all the countries in the world, especially ones who have lower elevation and are closer to sea level. The main question is though, how fast will global warming come into fruition? As Marvel put it bluntly, nobody knows. Climate models can tell us what might happen, but they cannot tell us what will happen yet, as clouds remain such a question mark in climate change.

    Clouds will always appear in some part of the world, some hanging low and preventing any type of sunlight from getting through, or they are high and thin enough to have someone sweating while talking a 10 minute walk from campus into downtown South Orange. Marvel puts it as they are very tricky to track and simulate, as one region of cloud cover may not be able to speak for the rest of the planet. However, the same applies backwards, as the average of what all the clouds can do in the planet at one time might not affect certain areas as much.

    To be quite honest with you, this talk from Marvel was extremely interesting, as I didn’t even fathom that clouds would have that much of an impact on climate change. However, I’m not trying to wait on clouds to be the saving grace of the world. If we want to make a positive impact in this world, we have to stop beating around the bush and help save it through other ways (less meat consumption, less use of energy, less use of public transportation). I know it is so much more easier said than done, but let’s try to save this world before the world can’t save us, I’m trying to live past the age of thirty.

  8. John L. October 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm #

    Kate Marvel’s proposal of depending on low lying clouds’ ability to help the planet cool is as good an idea as any to save the Earth. With the United Nations giving the world a twelve year deadline before catastrophic ramifications occur, the global community must respond to the growing problem of climate change with swift action. Creating more clouds through technologies that emit water vapor into the atmosphere will allow us to reflect the sun’s solar energy back into the atmosphere. This process is known as cloud seeding. While this process has been used primarily for producing rain and snowfall, it can be tweaked to just emit the vapor that creates the clouds themselves. As this process has not been experimented with before on a global scale, it can’t hurt to try. The Earth has been issued a warning and humanity must answer. Humanity must do everything in its power to extend the deadline and start to transform its way of life by moving to a zero-carbon emissions lifestyle.
    Reliance on cloud patterns will buy humans more time to revolutionize the way they create energy. Countries should transition their energy grids’ dependency from coal and oil plants to fields of solar panels and wind turbines. Nuclear energy, while faced with a fair amount of stigma, can also be a sustainable source of clean energy. The timeline is short to save the planet and humanity must use every available factor to expand that time. Solely depending on clouds themselves to reduce the incoming solar energy from the sun is a long shot, but hopefully through the modified process of cloud seeding humanity can make clouds much more impactful. Humanity has prolonged revolutionary action for far too long in response to climate change and must now rely on any means necessary to prevent its devastating effects.

  9. Joseph Capouch October 19, 2018 at 7:22 pm #

    I found Kate Marvel’s Ted talk on climate change and the relation of clouds interesting all throughout the talk, and unique from other information that I have gotten with regards to climate change. First of all, her position as a climate scientist, made what she had to say even more interesting, in addition to the fact that she seemed very knowledgeable while discussing a variety of topics. When articles are written, or talks are given on climate change, often times the topics are centrally based around carbon dioxide, melting ice caps, water levels, and other hot topics in this area. However, Marvel based her talk around clouds and their affect, a unique perspective that really interested me.
    Her claim that clouds may be able to buy us more time to correct the issue of climate change by slowing it down was of particular interest to me. This is because time is one of the most useful resources we need as a species in order to combat the issues brought forth by severe climate change. Firstly, there is the progression of technology to help in this effort. Entire governments, agencies, and great minds all over the Earth are conducting research to stay informed on the problem, and make predictions like the ones referenced in Marvel’s talk. There is also constant innovation occurring all across the world, with new ideas, and new technology emerging at any moment. This type of progression could result in the answer to dealing with climate change, however, these things take time, something that people never seem to feel as though they never have enough of. Furthermore, with humans being at the center of the cause of global warming, through uses of fossil fuels, and other means of filling the atmosphere with emissions, that means one of the best efforts people can give is to change their own way of life. But for people to change their own lives, in order to slow or event prevent the changing of the climate, especially change in ways so intertwined in daily life, we will also need time for that. So ultimately, the idea clouds buying is some more time could be immensely helpful.
    In addition to her claim on what clouds could do as a whole, Marvel’s discussion on types of clouds and their own impact was also interesting. She gave a lot information including a break down on how some low lying clouds can help cool the Earth by keeping out sunlight, while higher, thinner clouds actually do the opposite in warming the planet. Her point that this type of contradicting effect by clouds, and the difficulty they cause when trying to make predictions and gather data regarding climate change made a lot of sense. A lot of sources on climate change give information that is contradictory to others, and often they vary widely in the severity of problems with the planet, or the time frame given on when these problems will escalate (something Marvel touches on herself during the talk). Her explanation on how clouds can make finding concrete information like this very difficult could very well be a reason why these sources disagree the way that they do.
    Overall I found this TED talk very informative, and interesting, as they so often are. The information found in the talk was unique, making it all the more interesting, and listening to it all the more enjoyable.

  10. Kent Flores October 19, 2018 at 7:59 pm #

    In the Ted Talk “Can Clouds Buy Us More Time To Solve Climate Change,” astrophysicist, Kate Marvel, explains to her audience the unknown factor that can lead to the worsening or even the solution to climate change. Kate Marvel describes clouds as a helper of climate change and an enemy of it at the same time. I learned from Kate Marvel that there are two types of clouds in our atmosphere; the low and the high clouds. The low clouds being able to reflect sunlight from the sun at about an effective rate of twenty percent. The high clouds in the other hand, prevent heat from the earth’s surface from escaping out into space. Kate Marvel surprised me when she mentions that she herself does not like clouds due to their complexity and limited resources used to study them. I always believed that our modern day technology had the ability to study everything on our planet at all times, no matter how small or large it is, but I stand corrected when Kate Marvel explained that clouds were just too large and in such a great quantity, that it made tracking them extremely difficult. The topic of global warming is not a new one for the people of my generation, but what is new to us all are the information that we are not provided; such as lack of technology, lack of perfect models, and a lack of knowledge over the most basic objects that are in our daily lives such as clouds. For example, we all see clouds if it is about to rain or if you are visiting Great Britain, but we never really stopped to think of their purpose on earth. I hope that clouds truly are a way for earth to cure its fever, because if it is not, then we have a huge problem, especially since they take up two-thirds of the atmosphere. With more evidence showing us that clouds are migrating from the tropical parts of earth to the poles, we will need a new batch of astrophysicist who can solve the cloud mystery. If we are able to do so, then we will know how to turn this migration into a benefit that can help stop global warming for good.

  11. Petar Micevski October 19, 2018 at 8:02 pm #

    In this TED talk, Kate Marvel brought up some very interesting facts about climate control. Before this TED Talk, I didn’t even think twice about the effect of the clouds when it came to global warming. For as long as I can remember, climate change has been a major topic throughout my education. As I have gotten older, I have become more conscious about the environment but unfortunately, it is not something that I think about often. Within the past few years, many more politicians and scientists have been talking about climate change. There are more activists now than there were 20 years ago. However, some still do not believe that climate change is happening.
    As a climate scientist, Marvel has been studying the climate patterns around the world for years, specifically clouds. Throughout her talk, she describes two different sets of clouds. The first set of clouds are known as low clouds, and according to Marvel, they are currently blocking and protecting us from the sun. The second set of clouds are known as high clouds and they are the clouds that are keeping the heat trapped in what is known as the ozone layer. What has been believed to be currently happening, is that the high clouds have been keeping the heat trapped more than the low clouds have been able to expel the heat. However, in recent climate models and simulations, it has been revealed that the reverse is actually happening. The low clouds are expelling the heat much faster than expected, while the high clouds are struggling to keep the heat in. This means that the planet is actually cooling rather than heating up. The next step would be to figure out how to keep this pattern, which is what Marvel wants to do.
    For me, climate change has always been a topic that has been brought up and talked about within my life. After watching this TED Talk, I am much more aware of the science that is behind all of the studies that bring awareness to climate change. While there are many advocates for climate change, I’m worried that there aren’t enough to help keep this pattern of cooling. Hopefully, quantum could potentially help us depict more precise simulations in the expectation that we could convert current simulations into near-perfect models. Although there are many people who trust the science of climate change and global warming, many still don’t believe that climate change exists and continue to contribute to global warming. I would hope that if more people were to watch this TED Talk, they would become more aware of the issues that we are currently facing with the environment. Unfortunately, the cynical side of me thinks that those who barely contribute to environmental issues would view this video as already doing enough.

  12. Tyler Peteraf October 19, 2018 at 8:23 pm #

    Global warming is a very real thing that is taking place around the world. While there are certainly some people who would say that it doesn’t exist, I believe that if you are a reasonable person you are able to recognize that the climate is changing, by simply looking at the numbers. Many people have different suggestions on how to prevent the climate from rising. While many people think about the drastic changes that we would have too make, there is also some other already existing factors, like clouds. As Mrs. Marvel brings up in her talk, we cannot simply put all clouds together into one category as they are very diverse. To that point, there are clouds that are able to help prevent global warming, but there are also clouds that increase the climate’s temperature. Low atmospheric clouds are able to help cool the earth in a whole, but high atmospheric clouds have an opposite affect. These clouds essentially have a greenhouse affect on the earth and increases’s it’s climate.
    Another idea that she brings up is not how clouds can affect global warming, but how global warming is going to affect cloud coverage. As the temperature on earth increases, that is also going to cause the high atmospheric clouds to rise up in the atmosphere. If this does happen, it will heighten and fasten the process of global warming. Stating that she is not entire;y against clouds however, Mrs. Marvel makes clear the necessity to make sure that we monitor clod coverage on earth and the affect that these clouds are having.

  13. Gabby O October 22, 2018 at 11:06 am #

    Climate change is a hot topic that continues to impact society in huge ways. I think everyone should be concerned with any new discoveries/theories regarding this topic because it affects the future of every person on the planet. This TED Talk sparked my interest because I have never heard of clouds influencing climate change. The news mainly discusses things like greenhouse gases when it comes to climate change, but rarely, if ever, do you hear about clouds’ role in all of this.

    The National Science Foundation has called clouds “The Wild Card of Climate Change” ( As Kate Marvel discusses in her TED Talk, clouds are very unpredictable. I honestly never thought about clouds at all; however, if you take a moment to stop and acknowledge them occasionally, you will find that every time you look up in the sky, the clouds are different. Although I am in no way cloud-savvy, I now acknowledge what Marvel is talking about when she says, “clouds come in all shapes and sizes.” I never considered that the diversity seen in clouds’ might be cooling or heating the planet. Clouds’ unpredictability makes it hard for scientists to fully understand their future impact – which gives society all the more reason to want to study them.

    One question I had while watching this was that if clouds are “crucially important in regulating the temperature of the planet,” then why don’t we hear about them more? I am in no way discrediting this TED Talk; instead, I am genuinely curious why the media is not covering this topic further. If clouds can possibly make or break the disastrous effects of climate change, there should be greater coverage of this factor so that the general public can better understand what they are up against. Educating people on this topic may also encourage some of them to go into this line of work, and possibly even help save the planet.

    Although I strongly agree with Kate Marvel when she says her “favorite type of cloud is none,” this TED Talk has enlightened me to the fact that clouds may not be so bad, if they can help scientists better understand the global impacts of climate change and preserve our planet in the future.

  14. Alex Fialkowsky October 26, 2018 at 12:37 pm #

    Kate Marvel made excellent points in her TED talk that I very much agree with. Something must be done to help our Earth and we must figure out what that is. Personally, I feel that meddling with clouds and the climate may have a greater risk than benefit. Like Marvel said there is no way for these weather satellites to analyze climate because it is too broad and too long term. Before we do anything in regards to clouds we must do what we know already works. People are trying to find ways to save the Earth, while also saving their destructive habits but this is impossible. The truth is, we have to basically start over as a society to save our planet. Greenhouse gas emissions must decrease immensely along with meat consumption and use of natural resources. Most people have become accustomed to their lifestyles and are unwilling to change. Fortunately, if they keep up their act they wont have to change, because the Earth will no longer be inhabitable and these people will die set in their ways. Trying to control the weather and clouds in our favor is similar to playing God, humans are not meant to due this due to our lack of understanding on the subject. Before we can even consider this as an option, we have to first have the capacity, both mentally and resourcefully, before we take any action towards this approach.

  15. Alexis Job November 2, 2018 at 8:53 pm #

    Kate Marvel’s talk on the impact the clouds have in climate change is a bit deceiving at first listen. Clouds have the ability to both warm and cool the planet, but only when they choose to. Scientist’s inability to study all clouds all the time, in respect to climate change, makes it even harder to determine if clouds are helping or hurting the problem. With both levels of clouds present in the atmosphere, which clouds react when is dependent on what we do to the atmosphere, along with how the earth reacts to interstellar forces. Marvel’s talk is more so centered on the idea that humans may never know how the natural world works, so we must make is a priority to keep it the way it is.

    The importance of understanding the impact the human race has on climate change is huge, because we cannot expect to abuse the earth and then expect it to continue working the way it does. The more greenhouse gasses we produce only heightens the capability of the highest level of cloud cover to keep those gasses within the atmosphere. Matter cannot be created or destroyed, therefore where will all the pollution we are creating go? While the lower clouds help cool the earth in certain areas, the fact still remains that the pollution of the air is still present above the clouds. The earth’s ecosystems are suffering; the same ecosystems that keep the earth’s air and waters balanced. The negative impact humans have on the earth is forcing the insurance that the earth will not last much longer in the state it is in. We will force the earth into a state it cannot return from for thousands of years.

    Remedy must come. Reform must be in action if people value their own longevity. As selfish as the human race can be, there will be a point where everyone must understand the impacts of pollution on global warming and make every effort to reverse it. Global warming effects every aspect of human life, whether people want to identify with the idea or not.

  16. Jordan H November 5, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

    Climate change has been brought to a much greater relevance in recent years, but still our planet seems to continue down the path of destruction. While Kate Marvel talks about how clouds could impede or expedite the climate change, she makes a very good point that for right now it is unclear if they will heat or cool our atmosphere. Whether high clouds result in the temperature rising, or low clouds dropping the temperature the global climate crisis needs to be addressed. With the President withdrawing from the Paris agreement, the United States is taking steps in the wrong direction. Agencies like the EPA need more funding and leadership that actually believes in climate change, unlike the current head who openly admitted he does not believe in climate change.

    As a firm believer in climate change and the negative effects it is having on the environment, I try and do my part to reduce my carbon footprint. Until watching this Ted Talk, I had no idea the impact clouds have on the greenhouse effect. With such undeniable facts, it confuses me when individuals try and deny the presence of climate change. With weather patterns changing and ocean levels and temperatures rising it would seem foolish to try and dispute the truth, and yet people still turn a blind eye. Kate Marvel discusses it with a light hearted approach, but in reality it should be brought to an even greater degree of relevance. I would fully support a renewed effort to slow down the process of global warming and combat rising ocean temperatures.

    We are now well into the twenty first century, with satellites that can corroborate what Marvel said in her Ted Talk. Not everyone is aware of the simple changes they can make in their life to help reverse the process of climate change, so it is up to individuals to help others leave the planet better than we found it. Clouds may be able to help slow down the process, but we can not bank on that eventuality and allow the situation to go unchecked. Starting today everyone should take a minute of their time to research ways they can reduce greenhouse gasses being released into the atmosphere. It may not be your immediate concern today, but ten or twenty years into the future it very well may be. If you are still unconvinced about the validity of the climate change argument, there are numerous legitimate websites you can visit for updated information provided by actual experts.

  17. Arthur Herpreck November 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm #

    I think this video was an eye opener about how clouds are helping gaining time for people to understand that global warming needs to be taken seriously by people. There is no question about the fact that global warming is actually happening. I think she was right when she said that Earth was the best place to live with the joke about Whisky because we need to understand that Earth is not granted, we could destroy it. It seems like someone that won $100 millions at the lottery and blows his money without thinking that there is an end point.
    Our generation and the coming generations need to be aware and working on this cause . I believe that the human race is smart enough to find ways to live a sustainable life. The society is getting more aware of what is going on and I think that things are going to change because it is not conceivable in my perception that humans are not intelligent enough to keep pulling the rope until it breaks.

  18. Amanda Nitting November 9, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    Climate scientist, Kate Marvel, discusses the popular and frequently discussed topic, climate change. Even though there are those that do not believe in climate change, a very strong majority is acknowledging the increase in the temperature of Earth. For all the times I have been in a conversation where climate change has come up, I have never heard about this cloud factor. There are many different kinds of clouds such as high and low clouds. When Kate Marvel said she was not a fan of clouds that stood out to me at first because I would assume that a climate scientist would enjoy studying clouds. However, when she went on the discuss how clouds end up blurring infrared images that make it difficult to get a clear understanding of what is going on in the atmosphere. Since we do not know what is going to happen in the future when it comes to the conditions of Earth, it is very important to take the necessary and proper steps to make it a healthy place to live in. It is very evident that this speaker is extremely passionate about this topic and fixing the problems that are contributing to the warming of the planet. We do not know how hot the temperature will rise which makes it scary to most people. It is a societal norm to get on edge when it comes to uncertainty especially when it has to do with the stability of Earth.
    The difference between low clouds and high clouds was new information to me that I was unaware of. The low clouds have the ability to cool off the planet and function as a powerful sunshade. On the other hand, the high clouds have similar effects to greenhouse gases which end up warming up the planet. Together though, clouds are vital to aid in the regulation of the temperature of Earth. Without clouds, the planet would continue to warm up to the low clouds are important to a certain extent. However, they might not be enough to reverse the climate change that is occurring, which contributes to Ms. Marvel’s point being that we as a community need to step up and take action.
    Even though I had never considered clouds being a factor in global warming, it does not mean that they have the capacity to handle all other factors that are adding to this change. Globally it is known that there are rising temperatures, melting icecaps and shifts in rainfall patterns. I also did not realize that clouds are not easy to see because the satellites are not equipped for climate science. So scientists can use these satellites to observe them, but it is still unclear to know all the information about clouds. The main thing to keep in mind is that the high clouds are causing the most issues in this case because they are adding the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is one of the most common associations when thinking about this issue which is why it is stressed in this presentation. The major point to remember from this TED talk is that although clouds are an aspect of climate change that should continue to be researched, it is also our duty as humans to take care of the planet we are able to live on. It is easy to take for granted that we are able to survive and live on this planet, especially being that it is the only one we can live on our solar system. Since that has not been thought of as much as it should have over the years, it is now time to make a move before it is too late.

  19. Conor L November 9, 2018 at 8:51 pm #

    I found Kate Marvel’s TED talk to be extremely interesting, however somewhat confusing until going back and rewatching while also doing some research on my own. After analyzing it seems as if the main point she was trying to get across is that clouds in general may seem like a potential way for global climate change to slow, especially if as a planet we could find a way to artificially create them. However as she continues to discuss how they truly function it becomes apparent that there is no conceivable way for them to be a 100% effective way for them to give our planet enough cover from the sun in order to cool rising temperatures.

    Low clouds do provide a benefit to the issue at hand mainly due to their ability to provide regions a thick buffer by which sunlight can not pass through. However as I learned in the video, high clouds do exactly the opposite. They tend to get trapped near the atmosphere and do not allow the planet to naturally cool itself off, creating a greenhouse like effect. Personally, I was unaware this was the case and this point became very intriguing. Another fact Marvel pointed out that was extremely interesting to me was the fact that clouds have been slowly shifting from the tropical regions to the poles, essentially moving from the areas we need them most. This combined with high clouds can become a recipe for disaster where our planet can potentially suffocate itself.

    Lastly the main takeaway from this talk personally was the ending quotes. To me the message Marvel was trying to get across was that we need to take immediate action towards the issue at hand. Climate change is not and never was a “hoax.” The facts and data given throughout the segment was her trying to prove that there are no other ways to for our world to be saved from rising temperatures, it needs to come from a complete overhaul of how we currently treat our beautiful planet. And if this does not happen sooner rather than later, it’s going to simply be too late.

  20. Tirzah K. November 9, 2018 at 10:57 pm #

    It is very alarming to know that something as natural as a cloud in the sky could have an effect on global warming the same as carbon dioxide gases. It’s alarming because we have zero control over the formation of clouds, even the location of clouds. There are so many types of clouds and they all signify different things about our weather such as a change in temperature or thick dark clouds that signify a storm.

    Clouds help to regulate the temperature of our planet. The low clouds have the effect of holding back 20% of the sun’s rays by acting as a sun shade; but, the higher clouds in the sky that hover in the cooler region are the opposite. They intensify greenhouse gases by containing the heat on the planet. The scientists mentions that we are able to see clouds by satellite but up until now, satellite was mainly intended for observing weather patterns, not just clouds.

    We need to begin studying the effects of cloud cover over our planet so that we can use them as a source to help save the planet. We definitely need better tools to study clouds and understand why those high clouds hover so high thus keeping in warm temperatures. We have lots of air traffic that may very well contribute to the formation of some clouds. That’s why it’s so necessary to be able to study them. Perhaps we can find a way to lessen the higher clouds and increase the lower clouds in the future.

  21. John Skalski December 6, 2018 at 5:51 pm #

    Anytime I see anything that has to do with climate change or anything of that nature, all I can think about is that some people actually think that this is not an actual issue. I understand that some people have their certain beliefs and will believe something forever no matter what somebody says to them, but facts are facts and climate change needs to be taken seriously. Ever wondered why it may snow in November and then the next day be like 60 degrees, that is because of climate change and all of the issues that come along with it. Climate change is a huge issue and if we do not do something to help slow it down and hopefully eventually end it all together, then our world as we know it will be gone. If we as inhabitants of this earth do not change our ways then we may just have to end up living out in space and not have nearly as much freedom and ability that we currently have right where we are. The earth is a special place and something that needs to be taken care of. Take for example your own body, would you take a bunch of trash and just rub it all over your body, or dump stuff that does not belong in your body inside of it, no you would not. Since we would not then why do people just litter all of the earth and then take trash and place in oceans and what not to where it does not belong. If the earth was a human body then it would be something that people stay from and want nothing to do with. Earth needs to start being treated like it is a human body and people need to actually taken care of it, because when they do it will grow and flourish in amazing ways. If you have ever seen a picture of a coral reef through a clear ocean, you would notice how amazing and special that it looks. Imagine that exact picture but now filled with dirt, trash, and the coral reef gone. That is the type of path that we are currently heading down if change does not occur. In the end, climate change is real and people need to do something about it so that we can stay and earth and keep it beautiful like it deserves to be.

Leave a Reply