During the first decade of this century, the clouds were a little lower — an average of 1%.
Researchers from the University of Auckland (New Zealand) analyzed the results of measurements of the cloud tops, made from March 2000 to February 2010 using a polygonal Spectroradiometer (MISR) American spacecraft Terra.
1% — is 30-40 m usually decrease was due to the fact that at very high altitudes formed fewer clouds.
Lead author of Roger Davis notes that the data cover too short a period to be able to make far-reaching conclusions. At the same time we can not ignore the fact that there seems to be something important — and it is associated with global average temperature change.
The fact that the reduction in the height of the cloud cover of the Earth slightly cool the planet, and possibly slowing global warming. It may be that we have an example of negative feedback mechanism, when the growth temperature leads to a decrease in cloud and thus curb warming. Apparently it has to do with the atmospheric circulation at high altitudes, but scientists can not yet offer a model that fully describes these processes.
The study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.