Articles on Clouds

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Not all clouds are the same, and climate models have been predicting the wrong kinds of clouds over the Southern Ocean. Kathryn Moore

We caught bacteria from the most pristine air on earth to help solve a climate modeling mystery

Climate models have been overestimating how much sunlight hits the Southern Ocean. This is because the clouds there are different from clouds anywhere else. Bacterial DNA helped us understand why.
They may look comfy to sit on but you’d plummet through and hit the ground. Sam Schooler/Unsplash

What would it feel like to touch a cloud?

You might have already felt what it would be like inside a cloud made of condensed water vapor.
Grant Elliott/Unsplash.

Curious Kids: why is the sea salty?

The salt in the sea has built up over billions of years – but it wouldn't have got there without freshwater rivers and streams.
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…

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