Friday, November 15, 2013

Cloud Questions

Cloud History:
What happens to a cloud after it releases rain?
If a cloud persists after raining, can it "re-hydrate"?
How old is a cloud? (days, weeks, months, years...?)
Cloud Shape:
Why are clouds at different altitudes different shapes?
Why are summertime clouds different from wintertime ones?
Why are some clouds flat on the bottom (are they maintaining a thermal barrier or what)? I.E, What is the basis for the observed cohesion/adhesion?
Clouds are observed to suddenly change visibility (they can vanish or appear in just a few seconds). Does this correspond to a change in humidity?
Strange shapes:
Some clouds appear to have an two-tone upper and lower part with a dark lower part. If this is not a shadow, what is it?
Some clouds appear to be trailing curved tendrils - is this just rain seen at a distance? Or is it a hanging garden of organic fibre?
Some clouds have a "soft" surface while others have a "hard" one. How could the wind be responsible? The bottom of a cloud becomes "soft" just before rain. Also with the above "two-tone" clouds the lower, darker one, is always softer. [The suggestion that wind currents would be different above and below the cloud, to produce this difference in visual texture - is unsupported.]
Cloud Behavior:
Can a cloud change altitude without changes in atmospheric conditions around it?
Are clouds "bathymetric" and able to change effective volume/density - rasing or falling in the atmosphere?
Metabolism, Energetics, Signalling:
Do clouds store energy? I.E. does the energy entering a cloud (via sunlight) get completely converted via cooling and reflection?
Can energy be stored in polymer bond angles as well as in sugars? Could a cloud "flex" like a muscle?
Are clouds in thermal equilibrium with their surrounding air?
Do clouds contain electic currents and the corresponding magnetic fields?
Why do clouds start raining "all at the same time"? Is a quorum sensing mechanism present?
If quorum sensing occurs is it chemical or electric? Given an answer to this, does it explain why one cloud rains while the next one over does not?
What holds a cloud up in the first place since it is denser than the air around it? Again, is it a thermal barrier?

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