Think TV

National Geographic Feb 2015A handy FYI from NG, just in case everyone's wondering what those streaks and lines are up there: "wispy cirrus clouds with climate change potential"!  Didn't you know?  Here's the aviation psy-unce:  "When water vapor in hot aircraft exhaust hits very cold, moist air, it freezes.  That creates white contrails which can spread into wispy cirrus clouds with climate change potential.  Some reflect the sun's heat before it reaches Earth's surface for a cooling effect.  But overall, cirrus clouds trap heat and, by one estimate, contribute more to warming than aircraft carbon-dioxide emissions do.  Planes could be rerouted to avoid contrail-inducing weather, a study in Environmental Research Letters found.  In one case, a 13.7-mile detour in a transatlantic flight eliminated a contrail 62 miles long and the clouds it would have spurred -- so even counting extra emissions from the detour, the flight resulted in less warming.  Nonetheless, no one suggests rerouting planes yet.  Forecasters can predict contrail formation, says study author Emma Irvine -- but whether the forecasts are accurate enough to justify flight adjustments is still up in the air."  (See full image here.)

Translated: Planes are leaving white lines behind them that morph into what we are calling cirrus clouds.  We want you to believe that these clouds can cool the planet by deflecting heat from the sun.  But the main job of the clouds (especially when they become a mass of white haze that covers the whole sky) is to trap heat and warm the planet -- hence global warming, which of course is causing climate change!  How do the planes streak the sky with stuff that doesn't dissipate like contrails should? Well, it's our new psy-unce, developed from finding out that small particulates sprayed in the air will draw atmospheric moisture and make stable droplets that become haze.  We've come up with all kinds of aerosols to put up there and, boy, are the planetary results interesting to observe!  But with this nice magazine spread, we want you to know that we know that planes can change the weather, and we're trying to send them on detours to avoid causing any problems, but we have to take into account how much CO2 the detours will add or subtract ... it's a lot of math and decision-making, but we're on it.