The properties and distribution of clouds around the globe are important to climate research. There is now a 28-year compilation of clouds and radiation – a cloud climatology – based on data from polar satellites.
The Earth’s climate is largely determined by incoming solar radiation. Clouds help to reflect some of the radiation away.
“Roughly 30 per cent of the sun’s radiation is reflected away from the Earth, and most of that radiation is reflected away by clouds. Less than 10 per cent of the total radiation is reflected by the Earth’s surface,” says Karl-Göran Karlsson, a remote analysis scientist at SMHI and one of the people taking part in the project. >> More