Examine how clouds influence Earth's overall temperature in this video excerpt from NOVA's Cloud Lab. Clouds affect Earth's energy exchange with space in two ways: some clouds reflect incoming solar radiation back to space, and some clouds insulate the planet by absorbing outgoing heat. Overall, Earth's clouds currently have a cooling effect on the planet: they reflect more energy than they absorb. However, the types, numbers, and locations of clouds will be influenced by Earth's changing temperature. Scientists are studying how clouds will respond to a warming planet, and the role they might play in climate change.
This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.
Visit the Cloud Lab here.