Clouds obviously have a strong effect on surface temperatures. By blocking sunlight they can decrease the temperature by several degrees. At night they have a blanket effect that traps warm air and can increase nighttime temperatures.
I'm asking about long term averages that would affect climate, rather than transient levels that affect day-to-day weather.
From what I read, the way clouds will be affected by a change in global temperatures is still very much up in the air, if you'll pardon my pun. What I'm wanting to know is whether clouds are more likely to form during daylight hours, when water vapor is rising from the surface, or at night when the temperatures are lower. This might also be different between low altitude and high altitude clouds.
The articles I read are also not clear on whether clouds, currently, have a net warming or cooling effect. Is there any consensus on which is true? Intuitively, to me, it seems that the cooling effect of daytime cloud cover is many times higher than the warming affect of nighttime cloud cover. Am I wrong about this?