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Global Impact

Clouds as Reflectors
Convection often forms sprawling "cloud decks" like this one covering a huge portion of the Atlantic Ocean. Clouds, especially when viewed from above, appear bright and white. They are white because they are reflecting all of the colors in visible light back to our eyes. The clouds do more than just reflect colors, however. The bright cloud tops reflect a lot of sunlight back into space, preventing the ocean from soaking up very much energy. These convective cloud decks greatly affect the global climate by changing the amount of sunlight that reaches the earth.