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Riled Up is a journal of science, the environment, exploration, new technology, and related commentary.  Contributors include scientists, explorers, engineers, and others who provide perspectives and context not typically offered in general news circulation.  For interested readers, additional resources are included.

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Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

 

Nacreous clouds over USA McMurdo Station, Antarctica (credit: NASA/Wikipedia)

 

You may have missed World Meteorological Day. Designated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the day celebrates clouds and their importance to environments worldwide. Whether in cloud forests, coastal fogs, or thunderstorm fronts, clouds are everywhere.

In recognition, the international weather agency expanded the International Cloud Atlas as a reference for observing and identifying new cloud forms, an essential component of global weather, climate, and the hydrologic (water) cycle. The online resource identifies new forms such as asperitas, cavum (fallstreak hole), cauda (tail), fluctus (wave), and murus (wall) clouds that join the list of better known cirrus, lenticular, and cumulus cloud forms. Suspected new forms can be nominated to the Cloud Appreciation Society and anyone can join. Citizen scientist 'cloud-spotters' potentially can have a new form recognized in a future atlas.

 

        Asperitas Clouds (credit: Wikipedia/WHO)                               Fluctus Clouds (credit: WMO)

 According to the Secretary-General of the WMO:

Throughout the centuries, few natural phenomena have inspired as much scientific thought and artistic reflection as clouds. More than two millennia ago, Aristotle studied clouds and wrote a treatise addressing their role in the hydrological cycle, and today, scientists understand that clouds play a vital role in the Earth’s energy balance, climate, and weather.

World Meteorological Day events are planned by various nations with emphasis always on improving access to technological advances in satellite monitoring and extreme weather forecasting. Clouds, weather patterns, and storms affect everyone. As climate change accelerates, accurate predictions become ever more important. WHB

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