Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S’COOL) is a citizen science project in which volunteers make and report cloud observations from sites of their choosing, such as a field trip, vacation, or even a backyard. The project aims to collect data on cloud type, height, cover, and related conditions from all over the world. Observations are sent to NASA for comparison to similar information obtained from satellite.
Many people take for granted how powerful clouds are in our atmosphere. It is clouds, in part, that affect the overall temperature and energy balance of the Earth. The more that scientists know about clouds, the more they will know about our Earth as a system. The S'COOL observations help validate satellite data and give a more complete picture of clouds in the atmosphere and their interactions with other parts of the integrated global Earth system. Citizens benefit from their participation in a real-world science experiment and from their access to a variety of background material. Educational materials for teachers are also available.