Why is it colder in a clear sky than in a cloudy sky at night?

Why is it colder in a clear sky than in a cloudy sky at night?

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At night, it is often colder under a clear sky compared to a cloudy sky. This is due to the differences in the ways that clouds and clear skies interact with the Earth’s radiation.

During the day, the Sun’s energy reaches the Earth’s surface and warms it up. At night, this heat is radiated back into the atmosphere.

In a clear sky, there are no clouds to trap the heat radiated from the Earth’s surface. As a result, the heat can escape freely into space, causing the temperature to drop. This is why nights with clear skies tend to be colder.

On the other hand, a cloudy sky acts like a blanket. Clouds reflect some of the heat towards the Earth’s surface, preventing it from escaping into space. This trapped heat keeps the temperature relatively warmer than under a clear sky.

Additionally, clouds can also act as insulators by reducing the amount of heat loss through conduction and convection. This further contributes to the warmer temperatures experienced under a cloudy sky.

In summary, a clear sky allows heat to escape, leading to colder temperatures at night, while a cloudy sky traps heat and acts as an insulator, resulting in relatively warmer temperatures.

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