Clouds have undergone changes as a result of climate change and humankind’s activities that have perturbed the Earth’s cloud system. This introduction lists the observed and hypothesized anthropogenic perturbations of clouds recognized today. It provides an overview of cloud-controlling factors, the extent and nature of anthropogenic perturbations of clouds, the quantification of the effects of clouds in the changing climate system, and the strategies to reduce critical uncertainties in understanding anthropogenic cloud perturbations. New approaches to the understanding of cloud-related issues in the Earth system are also discussed.
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