Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Scientists Say Airplane “Contrails” May Be Accidentally Geoengineering the Climate

Published on December 23, 2015 by   ·   1 Comment

contrails__

Derrick Broze

Chuck Long is a researcher with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory at the University of Colorado in Boulder. At the recent American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Long and his team released their paper, “Evidence of Clear-Sky Daylight Whitening: Are we already conducting geoengineering?” The analysis found that vapor from airplanes may be altering the climate through accidental geoengineering.

According to a 2013 congressional report:

The term ‘geoengineering’ describes this array of technologies that aim, through large-scale and deliberate modifications of the Earth’s energy balance, to reduce temperatures and counteract anthropogenic climate change. Most of these technologies are at the conceptual and research stages, and their effectiveness at reducing global temperatures has yet to be proven. Moreover, very few studies have been published that document the cost, environmental effects, socio-political impacts, and legal implications of geoengineering. If geoengineering technologies were to be deployed, they are expected to have the potential to cause significant transboundary effects.

In general, geoengineering technologies are categorized as either a carbon dioxide removal (CDR) method or a solar radiation management (SRM) method. CDR methods address the warming effects of greenhouse gases by removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. CDR methods include ocean fertilization, and carbon capture and sequestration. SRM methods address climate change by increasing the reflectivity of the Earth’s atmosphere or surface.

Aerosol injection and space-based reflectors are examples of SRM methods. SRM methods do not remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, but can be deployed faster with relatively immediate global cooling results compared to CDR methods.

Long and his team were investigating the changing amounts of sunlight that reach our planet,  processes known as “brightening” or “dimming.” According to CIRES, “Brightening and dimming are overly simplified words that signify increases and decreases in how much light from the Sun (measured as “irradiance” in watts/m2) reaches the planet’s surface — and these measurements are often analyzed under cloud-free conditions.”

In the new study, Long suggests high-altitude “ice haze” may be responsible for a whitish tint to the blue sky. “I’m talking about a sub-visual contrail-generated haze of ice, which we do not classify as a cloud but gives blue sky more of a whitish tint,” Long told CIRES.

“Contrail” is the name for the thin, line-shaped “clouds” sometimes produced by aircraft flying at altitudes several miles above the Earth. The trails are produced from water, turned into ice crystals, and can last several seconds, minutes, or possibly hours. These crystals leave behind a thin, icy haze, scattering the sun’s light in a way similar to Solar Radiation Management geoengineering projects. Long’s research may prove geoengineering is already taking place, albeit inadvertently.

More research is needed before Long can conclusively show much of an effect contrails are having on the climate, or whether they are leading to cooling or warming. However, Long says this is another way humans are altering the climate and, he says, “you can see this with your own eyes.”

Read More HERE

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Readers Comments (1)

  1. Bert Rezi Bert Rezi says:

    No such thing as Accidental fool ….




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