Climate change could make SoCal's May Gray, June Gloom disappear

Most Southern Californians have come to expect cool, overcast days this time of year. But a new study suggests May Gray and June Gloom could eventually disappear for good.

Scientists at California Institute of Technology who are researching climate change, specifically the marine layer, say heavy cloud cover could be a thing of the past soon.

"The story is that clouds, about 100 years from now or so, might disappear altogether from our area here," said Dr. Tapio Schneider of Cal Tech. "The marine layer clouds that gives us the May Gray and June Gloom they may just not be there anymore and in a world that has much higher concentration of green house gases."

Globally, temperatures have increased about two degrees in the last 100 years.

In Pasadena, Schneider says the median overnight temps have increased about nine degrees.

"It's marine layer clouds that give us May Gray, June Gloom. They cover 20 percent of tropical oceans, so they cover vast areas of the Earth, and they're in some way Earth's natural refrigerator," Schneider said.

They affect temperatures globally because they reflect so much sunlight, covering such a large area.

"If they would disappear all over the subtropics, the oceans off the coast of California, Peru, Angola and the like - that would lead to warming everywhere," Schneider said.

Schneider says greenhouse gases cause global warming, thus the surface temperatures also increase.