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Keywords:

  • climate change;
  • climate models;
  • clouds;
  • feedbacks

[1] The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored using data obtained between 2000 and 2010. An energy budget calculation shows that the radiative impact of clouds accounts for little of the observed climate variations. It is also shown that observations of the lagged response of top-of-atmosphere (TOA) energy fluxes to surface temperature variations are not evidence that clouds are causing climate change.