Clouds in the Balance

Description:

This feature article provides a summary of study about the role of clouds in the balance. Until recently, scientists were uncertain whether clouds had an overall net cooling or heating effect on the Earth's climate. But recent studies show that, in the tropics, a "near cancellation" between shortwave cooling and longwave warming exists, which indicates that the amount of incoming radiant energy is roughly equal to the amount of outgoing radiation. However, small changes in tropical cloudiness can disrupt this precarious balance.

Creator(s): Schmidt, Laurie J.
Creation Date: October 11, 2001
Partner(s):
UNT Libraries
Collection(s):
Environmental Policy Collection
Usage:
Total Uses: 52
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Publisher Info:
Publisher Info: www.nasa.gov
Place of Publication: Washington, DC
Date(s):
  • Creation: October 11, 2001
Description:

This feature article provides a summary of study about the role of clouds in the balance. Until recently, scientists were uncertain whether clouds had an overall net cooling or heating effect on the Earth's climate. But recent studies show that, in the tropics, a "near cancellation" between shortwave cooling and longwave warming exists, which indicates that the amount of incoming radiant energy is roughly equal to the amount of outgoing radiation. However, small changes in tropical cloudiness can disrupt this precarious balance.

Note:

[harvested: 2009-09-21]

Physical Description:

4 p. : ill.

Language(s):
Subject(s):
Keyword(s): climate variability and change | meteorology | El Niño
Series Title: NASA Earth Observatory
Added Title: Clouds in the Balance (DAAC Study): Feature Article
Partner:
UNT Libraries
Collection:
Environmental Policy Collection
Identifier:
Resource Type: Text
Format: Text