Effects of Artificial and Natural Cirrus Near the Ground on Temperatures Clouds

Andrew Detwiler


The effects of thin to moderately thick cirrus clouds on daytime air temperature rise or nighttime air temperature fall near the ground can be approximated as linearly proportional to the change in solar heating, or nocturnal radiative cooling, of the surface, produced by the clouds. It is estimated that a uniform overcast of cirrus with a thickness comparable to an average aircraft contrail will reduce daytime heating by I0 to 20% and nighttime cooling by up to 50% compared to the heating and cooling that would have occurred in cloudless conditions.

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