What do clouds do to incoming solar radiation?

Energy can be scattered or absorbed by aerosols in the atmosphere. Short wavelengths are absorbed by ozone in the stratosphere. Clouds may act to either reflect energy out to space or absorb energy, trapping it in the atmosphere.

One source claimed The greenhouse effect is not only produced by the greenhouse gases, clouds absorb long wavelength (infrared) radiation from the surface of the Earth and radiate some of it back down. Clouds also have a major role in reflecting some of the Sun’s short wavelength (visible light) radiation back into space.

Another popular inquiry is “Do clouds increase solar radiation?”.

Clouds increase the global reflection of solar radiation from 15% to 30%, reducing the amount of solar radiation absorbed by the Earth by about 44 W/m 2. This cooling is offset somewhat by the greenhouse effect of clouds which reduces the outgoing longwave radiation by about 31 W/m 2 .

What is the effect of cloud cover on solar radiation?

This effect is the increased solar radiation levels (both in the UV and in the broadband) that are sometimes found under partly cloudy and even overcast conditions. Enhancements are explained basically by two phenomena: reflections in cloud surfaces and increased forward scattering in some types of clouds.

When a cloud absorbs longwave radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, the cloud reemits a portion of the energy to outer space and a portion back toward the surface.

How do clouds affect the albedo?

Because a cloud usually has a higher albedo than the surface beneath it, the cloud reflects more shortwave radiation back to space than the surface would in the absence of the cloud, thus leaving less solar energy available to heat the surface and atmosphere.

You could be wondering “How do clouds affect the earth’s surface?”

Low, thick clouds primarily reflect solar radiation and cool the surface of the Earth. High, thin clouds primarily transmit incoming solar radiation; at the same time, they trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and radiate it back downward, thereby warming the surface of the Earth .

Cloud effect on UV radiation is lower than cloud effect on total solar radiation. In other words, given a sky condition, the CMF is in general higher for UV radiation than for total solar radiation. There is a large dispersion of CMF values corresponding to the same cloud cover even for a single site and period of time.

How does solar radiation affect the atmosphere?

INCOMING SOLAR RADIATION. Incoming ultraviolet, visible, and a limited portion of infrared energy (together sometimes called “shortwave radiation”) from the Sun drive the Earth’s climate system. Some of this incoming radiation is reflected off clouds, some is absorbed by the atmosphere, and some passes through to the Earth’s surface.

Clear air is largely transparent to incoming shortwave solar radiation and, hence, transmits it to the Earth’s surface. However, a significant fraction of the longwave radiation emitted by the surface is absorbed by trace gases in the air.