Photo by Shaun Wamal.

This is not a joke: The sky is falling. Or technically, the height of clouds, the average of which decreased about 1 percent from 2000 to 2010. Researchers at the University of Auckland, who collected the data, attributed the change to a drop in the number of clouds formed at high altitudes.

But, contra Chicken Little, this isn’t bad news. Clouds hanging lower in the atmosphere could help offset global warming in a negative feedback loop. The researchers who are tracking the clouds’ height say they need another round of data collection to see if the trend holds.