When you think of global warming, images of a hot, searing sun come to mind, but researchers say that's only part of it.
The earth is getting warmer at night too. The University of Exeter found that greater nighttime warming is much more common than daytime warming.
The team that conducted the study says gradual changes in cloud cover could be to blame for the increase in nighttime warming.
Hotter days and more mild nights can impact wildlife.
Driven primarily by increased cloud cover resulting in a dampening of daytime temperatures, over twice the area of land has experienced night‐time warming by >0.25°C more than daytime warming, and has become wetter, with important consequences for plant phenology and species interactions. Conversely, greater daytime relative to night‐time warming is associated with hotter, drier conditions, increasing species vulnerability to heat stress and water budgets. This was demonstrated by a divergent response of LAI to warming asymmetry.
Some regions did see daytime temperatures rise more than night temperatures, but the overall area of “disproportionately greater night-time warming” was over two times as big, researchers say.
Image courtesy Getty