Clouds impact on Solar Radiation
So again we take a further look at the clouds and how they can have an impact on solar radiation and the amount that hits the earth. First, let’s look at a sunny day with no clouds during the summer, what tends to happen? The biggest thing that we can note is that it tends to favor a warmer day, than if you have a cloudy day. This is important to know when your studying climate and patterns of a given location. For example, if we use Arizona versus Washington state, we can note thatthe majority of the time Arizona will be a lot warmer than Washington and that is due to Arizona seeing a lot more direct sunlight days than Washington which tends to have more cloudy days along with other factors.
The clouds force the majority of the sunlight to head back away from the earth. Now let’s examine a few situations here, first if you have a sunny day and it’s warm, now all the sudden the sun sets and the temps begin to fall, why because you lost the heat source “THE SUN”. Secondly if we take a sunny day and let it heat up, now all the sudden at night the clouds move back into the area, the night time temperatures don’t fall as much due to the cloudstrapping the heat near the surface. So clouds have a huge impact on climates of the earth. They can dictate the amount of solar radiation that will enter the earth’s surface at any given location on the earth. So another factor to consider when looking and identifying climate is to analysis a place’s cloudy days versus sunny days.
So as we can see to understand climate and how climate patterns work on earth, it is very important that we look at something as simple as the clouds. The clouds can tell us a great deal about the climate of a given location, from the Southwest United States, which has more sunny days than cloudy days leading to (Hot clear days) and (Cold clear nights) this is one example.
In summary we can see that clouds impact both the incoming solar radiation to the Earth, along with the outgoing radiation back to the atmosphere. Understanding this helps to start the Climate cycle process of understanding our climate here on Earth. The climate is always changing and the clouds are just one part of this larger formula of Climate change.