Atmosphere

Monitoring of fractional cloud coverage

Clouds play an important role in the energetic system of the Earth, significantly controlling radiation flux in the atmosphere by reflecting solar radiation and absorbing heat from the planet. With Earth Observation satellite data, the frequency of cloud occurrence and its behaviour over space and time can be measured, enabling and improving the understanding and modelling of the planetary radiation budget.

Average annual fractional cloud cover over Switzerland.
Average annual fractional cloud cover over Switzerland. (Image: UZH/NPOC/D. Fawcett)