How do clouds reflect energy?

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. Low, thick clouds primarily reflect solar radiation and cool the surface of the Earth.

This means that they radiate less energy into space than the lower, warmer clouds. Therefore, high clouds work to “trap” more energy than the low clouds. High clouds are not good at reflecting shortwaves. But, they are very good at blocking longwaves.

Do clouds absorb heat from the Sun?

Clouds, water vapor and other atmospheric gasses also absorb about 20 percent of this incoming solar radiation. Low-level clouds reflect the greatest amount of heat, which is why we enjoy cooler temperatures during a cloudy day. Conversely, a cloudy night is warmer than a cloudless night because clouds also create a blanketing effect.

However, some heat from the Sun does get down to Earth. Clouds can trap that heat from the Sun. At night, when there’s no sunlight, clouds are still trapping heat. It’s sort of like clouds are wrapping Earth in a big, warm blanket. During the day, clouds can make the temperature on Earth cooler by blocking heat from the Sun.

Do clouds get warmer or cooler as they travel through the atmosphere?

Well, that depends on where the clouds are in Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds within a mile or so of Earth’s surface tend to cool more than they warm. These low, thicker clouds mostly reflect the Sun’s heat.

Do clouds absorb water?

Clouds are entirely made up of tiny droplets of water. In fact, the droplets or ice crystals are so small, they do not fall through the atmosphere, because to them the atmosphere feels as thick (viscous) as we would feel in syrup. That’s how clouds are able to stay up in the air. Clouds absorb water from evaporation of the water on the ground.

The water from the clouds condenses onto the leaves, where it is absorbed into the branches, stem, and roots of the tree. Many trees are able to do this, not only the trees living in cloud forests.

How do clouds weigh?

With a combination of pressure, air, and water, clouds are actually remarkably heavy. Though it may look weightless, the average cumulus cloud is packing an astonishing 1.1 million pounds. How does something so heavy float so effortlessly above us?

One cloud weighs as much as 100 elephants! Clouds appear to float so effortlessly in the sky that one would think that they are weightless. However, this is actually far from the case. A single cumulus cloud weighs 1.1 million pounds on average. To put this into perspective, that is equal to the weight of about 100 elephants or 2,500 donkeys!

The next thing we wondered was: how do you calculate the weight of a cloud?

There are 3 methods that are typical: Condensation, for creation, or vaporization, for destruction, of clouds. This should be used if clouds are created or destroyed, by condensing / vaporizing the water that makes up the cloud. Kinetic energy for moving of clouds, and convective available potential energy (cape) for creation of storms too are a few more things to examine.

What is the weight of an average cloud?

Clouds will easily weigh millions of pounds because they contain vast amounts of tiny droplets of water and ice. Cumulus clouds are the clouds that most people are familiar with. The average weight of these puffy white clouds is 1.1 million pounds (500,000 kg). That’s the weight of a loaded Airbus A380 passenger jet!

How much weight can a cloud hold?

The total mass of the cloud particles is about 1 million kilograms, which is roughly equivalent to the weight of 500 automobiles. But the total mass of the air in that same cubic kilometer is about 1 billion kilograms–1,000 times heavier than the liquid!

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.

How are clouds formed?

Clouds are created when water vapor, an invisible gas, turns into liquid water droplets. These water droplets form on tiny particles, like dust, that are floating in the air. A camera on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of clouds over the Southern Indian Ocean. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

How do clouds affect the upper surface of the atmosphere?

Usually, the higher a cloud is in the atmosphere, the colder is its upper surface and the greater is its cloud greenhouse forcing. If the Earth had no atmosphere, a surface temperature far below freezing would produce enough emitted radiation to balance the absorbed solar energy.