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Why do clouds float? | Cosmos
No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more. Back to top. Get to Know Us. A typical cumulus cloud carries about 0. But the whole cloud might be one kilometre by one kilometre by one kilometre. So it could carry up to about tonnes of water. There are three main reasons. First, the heat of the Sun warms the ground, which then creates rising currents of air.
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Second, an advancing storm or weather front running close to the ground can push the air that it runs into upwards. Third, air carrying water vapour can run into a mountain and rise, adding buoyancy to the cloud above.
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Air when it is moving very fast can easily hold up a tonne jet plane. So a huge volume of slowly moving air can definitely hold up a tonne cloud. A very dark cumulus cloud can look like a hill.
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On Venus they are made of sulfur dioxide, while the clouds on Mars carry water as ice. The clouds on Jupiter and Saturn are from the top down made of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide and near the bottom, water. The clouds on Uranus, Neptune and Titan a moon of Saturn are made of methane. It survived only 78 days, but proved that weather satellites could be useful. This article appeared in Cosmos 68 - Apr-May under the headline "Why do clouds float? The latest in our 'Why is it so?
Digital Issues Buy a back issue. Renew my subscription Give a Gift Manage my subscription. Explainer Climate 24 June Why do clouds float? They weigh hundreds of tonnes, but even dark clouds remain aloft.