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The Relationship between Climate and Cloud Formation

Considering the factors involved in the formation of clouds, discuss the relationship of climate and clouds. Would you expect such things as cloud height and the types of clouds to vary from one region to another due to differing climates? Why or why not? Also, how would geography affect this process?

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Please see response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps your understanding about the relationship between climate and cloud formation.

RESPONSE:

Hi,

Let's take a closer look at these questions through discussion and example, which you can then draw on for your final response.

1. Considering the factors involved in the formation of clouds, discuss the relationship of climate and clouds. Would you expect such things as cloud height and the types of clouds to vary from one region to another due to differing climates? Why or why not?

The clouds are a main character in the climate scene, however their detailed role is yet to be determined. Climate models do not know how to deal with them effectively.

However, clouds seem to play a double role; on the one hand, they are bright and they reflect part of the radiation coming directly from the Sun back to space, having a cooling system because less energy arrives to the Earth surface. But on the other hand, the Earth releases to space energy too and clouds can act as a blanket, trapping that radiation which should have escaped to the space in the same way as the greenhouse gases. Which of the two effects is going to dominate depends on the type and altitude of the cloud. Thus, assessing their role in climate becomes nightmarish. It is believed though that in general, high cloud tends to warm the climate whereas low clouds tend to cool ...

Solution Summary

Considering the factors involved in the formation of clouds, this solution explains the relationship of climate and cloud formation, and whether or not to expect such things as cloud height and the types of clouds to vary from one region to another due to differing climates. It also provides a rationale for why this occurs (or why not), and how geography would affect this process.

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