Popcorn Clouds Over Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia – December 18th, 20114.7N 7.5W
This image stretches from Côte d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast, right) to Liberia (left). While the upper part of the image is slightly hazy, the central strip is covered by a layer of popcorn clouds that ends at the shoreline.
Popcorn clouds, so-named for their dotted appearance, form due to interactions between forest and atmosphere. When the forest receives a lot of sunlight, causing plants to thrive, they put out extra leaves and photosynthesis increases, releasing water vapour into the atmosphere. Water vapour is more buoyant than dry air, so it rises and eventually condenses into clouds like the popcorn clouds shown in this image.