The clouds only make the earth colder in some circumstances. The clouds perform a very specific function in two directions. They reflect. So, thermoradiation from the earth is reflected back to earth, but also short-wave radiation from the sun is reflected back to space. At night, there is no sun to reflect so the clouds have an insulating effect. During the day however, the reflection of the sun by the cloud cover can cause a cooling effect. So, clouds make the earth colder by reflecting sun rays.
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