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Sometimes air goes up past the condensation level then falls back below the condensation level, then up, then below, again and again. This creates clouds that are stripy, often with lines between the clouds. Robert Lawry/Author provided

Curious Kids: where do clouds come from and why do they have different shapes?

Clouds formed by rising warm air currents are called 'convection clouds'. Because of all the rising air coming up, these clouds can be bumpy on top, sometimes looking like cotton wool or cauliflower.
Only clouds that are tall with big water drops can make rain, but they also stop most of the light, which makes them look grey. Marcella Cheng/The Conversation

Curious Kids: why does rain only come from grey clouds?

To answer this question from Fiona, age 6, we need to know some things about clouds and light.
The Large Hadron Collider is playing a key role in enabling the collection of big data. Supplied

The big data challenge and how Africa can benefit

Big data is about processing large amounts of data. It is often associated with multiplicities of data. But the ability to generate data outpaces the ability to store it.
Understanding clouds is crucial to understanding whether temperatures will rise quickly in coming decades. Visun Khankasem/Shutterstock.com

How clouds can make climate change worse than we thought

The amount of global warming we can expect in the future has been a tough question to pin down. A new study that I led with colleagues in France has enabled us to come up with a more accurate analysis…

Clouds not as cooling as thought

Clouds caused by air pollution have been overestimated in their ability to to reflect sunlight back into space, thus helping…

Lower clouds may cool earth

Cloud height has declined by 30-40 meters from 2000 to 2010. The analysis was based on the first 10 years of data collected…
CERN’s work casts light on cloud formation, but might not have much to say about climate change. Taivasalla

Do cosmic rays influence climate? Some new results from CERN

Physicists at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) created something of an online kerfuffle last month when they sought to improve our understanding of cosmic rays and clouds. While their…

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