On a nice summer day, clouds can look soft and fluffy and benign, or wispy and thin. But their welcoming appearance belies the significant effects that they can have on the global climate. Those effects are what atmospheric physicist Qiang Fu studies, the seriousness of which we are now starting to understand. Using a mix of satellite and ground-based observations along with numerical modeling and theoretical studies, he explores the ways that clouds modulate the radiative energy budget and feedback to climate system, as well as the ways that the dynamics of the upper atmosphere affect climate change. In recognition of his distinguished career, he was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2009, was awarded the Humboldt Research award in 2013, became an American Geophysical Union Fellow in 2014 and became an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2015.