Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Cloud Madness

Recent article from Wired Science on noctilucent clouds: Mysterious, Glowing Clouds Appear Across America’s Night Skies. And while these clouds may be breathtaking, they might be literally breath taking, meaning, the cause for these eerie clouds has to do with pollution and global warming:
The clouds might be beautiful, but they could portend global changes caused by global warming. Noctilucent clouds are a fundamentally new phenomenon in the temperate mid-latitude sky, and it’s not clear why they’ve migrated down from the poles. Or why, over the last 25 years, more of them are appearing in the polar regions, too, and shining more brightly.

“That’s a real concern and question,” said James Russell, an atmospheric scientist at Hampton University and the principal investigator of an ongoing NASA satellite mission to study the clouds. “Why are they getting more numerous? Why are they getting brighter? Why are they appearing at lower latitudes?”

Nobody knows for sure, but most of the answers seem to point to human-caused global atmospheric change.

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