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Different types of clouds have different effects on the balance of energy received and emitted by the Earth. In areas covered by the cumulus towers of a thunderstorm’s convective core (left) almost all the Sun’s energy is reflected. The cold cloud tops radiate very little energy out into space. Cirrus clouds (the cloudy and moist region, center), on the other hand, reflect some shortwave energy, but let some through to the surface. Likewise, they emit some heat (longwave energy) but redirect some back to the surface. Clear and dry regions (right) are almost the inverse of convective cores— most of the solar energy is absorbed by the surface, much of which is eventually emitted as thermal infrared radiation back out to space. In the clear regions, reflected energy increases as low level clouds increase, while as humidity increases less longwave energy is emitted. (Image by Robert Simmon)
Evidence Against the Iris Hypothesis
Earth Observatory article, David Herring and Robert Simmon
Uploaded to commons by P. Flatau
|This file is in the public domain because it was created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that "NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted". (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
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