Clouds & Contrails

Although clouds play an important role in the Earth's Water Cycle and in modulating the amount of radiation from the Sun striking the Earth's surface, much has yet to be discovered as to how clouds form and evolve, and precisely how they contribute to the Earth's weather and climate. Accurate cloud data is missing from most climate models.

Cloud images and atlases:


NASA Clouds

NCAR Clouds

Santiago Borja

The lingering clouds

Upside-down growing clouds

9 scary images of shelf clouds

Luke Howard and cloud names

Time-lapse cloud dynamics in 8K

Breathtaking cloud filmed in Brazil

International cloud atlas, volume 2

WMO new international cloud atlas

Southern California marine layer clouds

On the signature of the cirrus twilight zone

Fog clouds roll over Florida high-rise condos

Feathery cirrus clouds have a cold metallic heart

Remarkable wave clouds paint the sky over Utah

Six clouds and what they can reveal about the weather

The amateur cloud society that rattled the scientific community

Smoke from Australian fires rose higher into the ozone layer than ever before    

The physics and science of clouds:

The physics of clouds 

How clouds get their brightness  

The hidden importance of clouds

Gravity waves make clouds disappear

Clouds, circulation and climate sensitivity

Clouds are shaped by where they’re from

Obscure waves in planetary atmospheres

Atmospheric electricity affects cloud height

New meteorological insight into mid-level clouds

ENTICE: a better way to measure cloud composition

Electrical signature in polar night cloud base variations

Water loss offsets the cooling effect of aerosols in clouds

Persistent solar signatures in cloud cover: spatial and temporal analysis

The science of clouds - why they matter, and why there may be fewer of them

New HOLODEC study in science on using holography to better understand clouds

EUREC4A: a field campaign to elucidate the couplings between clouds, convection and circulation

How thermodynamic environments control stratocumulus microphysics and interactions with aerosols

Cloud Formation:

Cloud Formation

Fair-weather clouds hold dirty secret    

Clouds reveal new particle formation process

Cloud formation: how feldspar acts as ice nucleus

Gases work with particles to promote cloud formation

Cloud formation, convection and stratosperic dehydration

Pollution doesn't change the rate of cloud droplet formation

Cloud forming particles don't need sulfuric acid to assemble

Rainstorms transport atmospheric particles essential for cloud formation

Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation

Effect of solar variations on particle formation and cloud condensation nuclei

Physicists claim further evidence of link between cosmic rays and cloud formation

Water Vapour:

Water Vapour           

Hpw many water droplets are in a cloud?    

Aerosol effect on the mobility of cloud droplets

Scientists part the clouds on how droplets form

Clouds and Climate:

Send in the clouds

Caviar Consortium 

Cloudy with a chance of warming   

Clouds get high on climate change

No limit to human effects on clouds

Probing the cosmic-ray–climate link

The clouds that defy climate models

Clouds: the wild card of climate change 

Solutions to cloud riddle reveals hotter future

Clouds provide clue to better climate predictions

Climate processes: clouds, aerosols and dynamics

Earth’s cloudy past could reveal exoplanet details

Present day clouds are different from pre-industrial ones

International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP)

Picture of how greenhouse gases affect climate is 'cloudy'

The effect of clouds on climate: a key mystery for researchers

Cloudy problems: today's clouds may not be the same as pre-industrial ones

Organic vapours affect clouds leading to previously unidentified climate cooling

Anthropogenic contribution to cloud condensation nuclei and the first aerosol indirect climate effect 

NOAA scientists uncover oscillating patterns in clouds, Finding has implications for climate change

Clouds, circulation, climate, greenhouse gases, aerosols affect temperature & precip in a changing climate

Low cloud precipitation climatology in the southeastern Pacific marine stratocumulus region using Cloudsat

Cloud Modelling & Simulation:

Cloud Regimes, Model Evaluation and Model Development 

High performance simulations of turbulent clouds on a desktop PC: exploiting the GPU

Satellite Data Simulator Unit (SDSU): A multi-sensor, multi-spectral satellite simulator package

Investigating potential biases in observed and modeled metrics of aerosol-cloud-precipitation interactions

Specific cloud types:

Tropical Clouds:

Fewer clouds in the tropics

Clouds pull rank in the tropical atmosphere

Expanding tropics push high altitude clouds towards poles

Remote clouds responsible for climate models' glitch in tropical rainfall

Tropical and Sub-tropical cloud transitions in weather and climate prediction models   

Clouds are moving higher, subtropical dry zones expanding, according to satellite analysis 

Ocean Clouds:  

Salty sea spray affects the lifetimes of clouds

High CO2 levels can destabilize marine layer clouds

Researchers turn to the ocean to help unravel the mysteries of cloud formation    

UGA Scientists Discover Missing Links in the Biology of Cloud Formation over the Oceans     

Storm Clouds:


Clouds over storm life cycle

Aerosols strengthen storm clouds    

Severe storms show off their 'plume-age'

Electron acceleration above thunderclouds

Exploding stars help to understand thunderclouds on Earth:

Noctilucent Clouds: 

Noctilucent ice clouds over Antarctica    

2012 Noctilucent cloud season begins       

2013 Noctilucent clouds and aurora - Scotland

Unexpected teleconnections in noctiluent clouds

Polar mesospheric clouds, Southern Hemisphere

Appearance of night-shining clouds has increased

NASA balloon mission captures electric blue clouds    

Electrical signature in polar night cloud base variaitions

NASA  sounding rocket observes the seeds of noctilucent clouds     

Volcanic Ash Clouds:  

Meteor smoke makes for strange clouds   

Iceland's volcano's eruption shows how sulphurr particles influene clouds

Combustion Clouds:

The coming surge of rocket emissions 

Jet contrails affect surface temperatures 

California fires are creating pyrocumulus clouds 

Heat is driving off clouds that dampen California wildfires 

Jets' contrails contribute to heat-trapping high-level clouds   

Ship emission influence on clouds in satellite and model data

Tracking Shuttle Exhaust Reveals More Information About Atmospheric Winds