Science Questions

Sat, 9th Sep 2006

Part of the show Hot Nectar, Warming Weather and Birds Missing the Spring

Question

Paul in South Yorkshire asked:

If clouds are made up of water, why do they differ in colour, from fluffy white to dark and black?

Answer

The main reason is the thickness of the cloud. A nice light fair weather cumulus tends to be quite shallow at times but as it gets bigger and bigger we sense less light coming through the cloud, and that tends to be really dark. So you get these big areas of stratocumulus that cover the sky, not a lot of sunshine gets beneath them so there's lots of shadow beneath the cloud, which makes it appear dark.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL