GLOBE Cloud Protocol Featuring NASA Satellite Comparison

Clouds are powerful agents of global change. They affect the overall temperature or energy balance of the Earth and play a large role in controlling the planet's long-term climate.

To understand the impact of clouds over time, we need accurate data on clouds. NASA has a number of satellites orbiting the Earth and collecting data about clouds and the Earth’s energy.  While these satellites give us a big picture of what’s going on, they sometimes have trouble with the details. 

Now we need your help in collecting data so we can better understand the different types of clouds and the effects they have on our Earth’s climate. Plus we need data from your vantage point- right here on Earth. Satellites only see the top of the clouds while you see the bottom. By putting these two vantage points together we get a much more complete picture of clouds in the atmosphere.

The role of clouds in climate is complex, they cool the Earth’s surface by reflecting sunlight and warm it by radiating and trapping heat”. – NASA's CERES Principal Investigator Norman Loeb

NASA, in collaboration with the GLOBE Program, invites participants to submit ground cloud observations following the updated Cloud Protocol.  A team from NASA Langley Research Center will compare observations with data from satellites/instruments for comparison/validation purposes and also return the matched data to the participant, encouraging engagement in authentic science experiences through NASA missions.

You are an important part of the puzzle, providing a new perspective of the clouds that our NASA satellites do not have, looking up. We are excited for you to start collecting data through this updated cloud protocol featuring NASA satellite comparison!