Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Global warming

Clouds cooled the Earth

The slow instrumental-record warming is consistent with lower-end climate sensitivity. Simulations and observations now show that changing sea surface temperature patterns could have affected cloudiness and thereby dampened the warming.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Schematic of the proposed mechanism for increasing low-level cloudiness with observed non-uniform sea surface temperature pattern.

References

  1. 1

    Fasullo, J. T. & Trenberth, K. E. Science 338, 792–794 (2012).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Sherwood, S. C. et al. Nature 505, 37–42 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Otto, A. et al. Nat. Geosci. 6, 415–416 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Lewis, N. & Curry, J. A. Clim. Dyn. 45, 1009–1023 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Zhou, C., Zelinka, M. D. & Klein, S. A. Nat. Geosci. 9, 871–874 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Gregory, J. M. & Andrews, T. Geophys. Res. Lett. 43, 3911–3920 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Klein, S. A. & Hartmann, D. L. J. Clim. 6, 1587–1606 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Norris, J. R. et al. Nature 536, 72–75 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Marvel, K. et al. J. Clim. 28, 4820–4840 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Senior, C. A. & Mitchell, J. F. B. Geophys. Res. Lett. 27, 2685–2688 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Su, H. et al. J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 119, 5787–5805 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12

    Kennedy J. J., Rayner, N. A., Smith, R. O., Saunby, M. & Parker, D. E. J. Geophys. Res. 116, D14103 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Thorsten Mauritsen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Mauritsen, T. Clouds cooled the Earth. Nature Geosci 9, 865–867 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2838

Download citation

Further reading

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing