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Articles on Clouds

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Wildfires burn on the island of Evia, north of Athens, Greece, on Aug. 3, 2021, as the country dealt with the worst heat wave in decades. Temperatures reached 41 C in parts of Athens. (AP Photo/Michael Pappas)

5 things to watch for in the latest IPCC report on climate science

The latest report on climate science comes on the heels of heatwaves, wildfires, flooding and storms. It will help policy-makers act on plans to curb emissions or adapt to climate change.
If successful, solar geoengineering would would reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches the Earth’s surface and warms the planet. (Shutterstock)

Solar geoengineering could limit global warming, but Canada should study risks and benefits first

Solar geoengineering could theoretically cool the Earth to slow global warming, and it has been controversial. Still, countries should research its risks and benefits.
Permafrost is thawing across the Arctic, releasing microbes and organic materials that have been trapped in the frozen ground for thousands of years. NOAA via Wikimedia Commons

Thawing permafrost is full of ice-forming particles that could get into atmosphere

New research shows that permafrost contains huge amounts of particles that make it easier for cloud moisture to freeze. Thawing permafrost is releasing these ice-nucleating particles.
A downpour or a drizzle: What causes the difference? David Pinzer Photography/Moment via Getty Images

Why does some rain fall harder than other rain?

Some rainstorms drench you in a second, while others drop rain in a nice peaceful drizzle. A meteorologist explains how rainstorms can be so different.
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.

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