I think I understand what radiative cooling is in general. Each body which is at a non absolute zero temperature would emit electromagnetic waves and loose energy.

Now when it comes to night sky cooling from what Wikipedia says it requires a clear sky.

Suppose it's cloudy.
The body would still loose heat through radiation but then does it imply that most of it would get reflected back from the clouds?
But even if it reflects back from the clouds considering the distance most of it would be scattered and won't get reflected back on to the body.

So I'm puzzled why a clear sky is a requirement for night sky cooling?
Is this because thermal radiation from other objects and the ground is also reflected from the clouds so the cumulative effect of this total reflection would cancel out the body's radiation?


1 Answer 1


Yes, radiation is reflected back from the clouds. It is scattered, but the point is that it is blocked from going up, and is reflected back downwards.


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