Scientists talk a lot about how the temperatures of the poles or oceans will change with global warming, though not much attention is paid to how this process differs day and night. According to a new study, the average temperature of the Earth’s surface rises at a faster rate at night, which is crucial for some species.
After analyzing data from the last 30 years, researchers at the University of Exeter have found that there is a certain asymmetry in global warming that is related to the planet’s rotation around its axis.
For the analysis, the scientists used records from 1983 to 2017, showing temperature changes every six hours. Examining this huge base, it was found that in a few points the daytime temperature increased noticeably while the nighttime temperature changes were almost unnoticed. There were also cases when the night started to get cold at the same time as the temperature rose.
However, if we observe the trend of temperature increase, the annual night temperature increase for the largest part of the land surface is 0.250C higher than the day rate.
A quarter increase in degrees may not seem alarming, but a small increase over the years can have a serious impact on those organisms that lead an active life at night.
To better study, this issue, the team of scientists also collected data from 1983-2017 on air humidity and atmospheric precipitation. They also compared regional differences in plant growth rates.
A combined study of the collected data revealed that the diurnal asymmetry of warming may be related to cloudiness.
Global warming brings excess energy to the surface of the earth, causing more moisture to accumulate in the atmosphere, which is converted into clouds. Clouds reflect waves of a certain length of light. During the day it protects us from fully feeling the effects of the sun. Without this effect, the night planet’s surface is more “vulnerable”
Probably we all felt the special coldness of the cloudless nights in winter, and now the data is backed up by our senses.
The difference in temperature change between day and night affects atmospheric precipitation, which determines the growth rate of plants. Increased heat at night will increase rainfall, in addition to cloudy days, which will interfere with photosynthesis.
Due to the complex nature of clouds, the effect of temperature variations needs further study.