Aviation makes a significant contribution to anthropogenic climate forcing. The impacts arise from emissions of greenhouse gases, aerosols and nitrogen oxides, and from changes in cloudiness in the upper troposphere. An important but poorly understood component of this forcing is caused by ‘contrail cirrus’—a type of cloud that consist of young line-shaped contrails and the older irregularly shaped contrails that arise from them. Here we use a global climate model that captures the whole life cycle of these man-made clouds to simulate their global coverage, as well as the changes in natural cloudiness that they induce. We show that the radiative forcing associated with contrail cirrus as a whole is about nine times larger than that from line-shaped contrails alone. We also find that contrail cirrus cause a significant decrease in natural cloudiness, which partly offsets their warming effect. Nevertheless, net radiative forcing due to contrail cirrus remains the largest single radiative-forcing component associated with aviation. Our findings regarding global radiative forcing by contrail cirrus will allow their effects to be included in studies assessing the impacts of aviation on climate and appropriate mitigation options.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
"these sorties are from Luke; from west of Catalina Island right to Joshua Tree"
".....but the spray makes them oh so pretty.......SoCal"
"Massachusetts bombarded with radiation in water and we have ozone missing and soaring temps!"
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
by Ars Technica
March 30, 2011
By John Timmer, Ars Technica
Air travel has come under fire for its potential contributions to climate change. Most people probably assume that its impact comes through carbon emissions, given that aircraft burn significant amounts of fossil fuel to stay aloft. But the carbon released by air travel remains a relatively minor part of the global output—the impact of planes results from where they burn the fuel, not the mere fact that they burn it. A study in the brand-new journal Nature Climate Change reinforces that by suggesting that the clouds currently being generated by air travel have a larger impact on the climate than the cumulative emissions of all aircraft ever flown.
That fact isn’t mentioned in the article at all, however (it’s part of a Nature press release on the paper). What the authors do consider is the fact that carbon emissions are only one of the impacts of aviation. Others include the emissions of particulates high in the atmosphere, the production of nitrogen oxides, and the direct production of clouds through contrail water vapor. Over time, these thin lines of water evolve into “contrail cirrus” clouds that lose their linear features and become indistinguishable from the real thing. Although low-altitude clouds tend to cool the plant by reflecting sunlight, high altitude clouds like cirrus have an insulating effect and actually enhance warming.
To figure out the impact of these cirrus clouds, the authors created a module for an existing climate model (the ECHAM4) that simulated the evolution of aircraft-induced cirrus clouds (they could validate some of the model’s output against satellite images of contrails). They found hotspots of these clouds over the US and Europe, as well as the North Atlantic travel corridor; smaller affects were seen in east Asia and over the northern Pacific. Over central Europe, values peaked at about 10 percent, in part because the output of the North Atlantic corridor drifted in that direction.
On their own, the aircraft-generated cirrus produces a global climate forcing of about 40 milliWatts per square meter (in contrast, the solar cycle results in changes of about a full Watt/M2). But these clouds suppressed the formation of natural cirrus clouds, which partially offset the impact of the aircraft-generated ones, reducing the figure to about 30 mW/M2. That still leaves it among the most significant contribution to the climate produced by aircraft.
Some reports (like one from UPI) have suggested we might focus on making engines that emit less water vapor, but the water is a necessary byproduct of burning hydrocarbon. We’ll almost certainly be accomplishing that as a result of rising fuel prices, and will limit carbon emissions at the same time. The nice thing is that, in contrast to the long atmospheric lifespan of CO2, if we can cause any changes in cloud formation, they’ll have an impact within a matter of days.
Image: Contrails over the southeastern U.S./NASA
Nature Climate Change, 2011. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1068
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Monday, March 28, 2011
Contrails and our weekend weather forecast
by Royal Norman
Posted on March 25, 2011 at 2:54 PM
PHOENIX – Most days of the year our state, and much of the planet, is crisscrossed with contrails from high flying jet aircraft.
A contrail will form behind a jet if the humidity is high enough and the temperature low enough for liquid water to condense.
The air needs to be supersaturated and the temperature generally below -40°F, something that typically occurs miles up in the atmosphere where jets fly.
Under those conditions, water vapor from the jet's exhaust and secondarily from the atmosphere condenses into water droplets. Very quickly these droplets freeze into the snow-white particles that bring the contrail to life.
How long a newly-formed condensation trail sticks around depends on the ambient humidity. If humidity is low, contrails will rapidly dissipate, looking like a comet's tail. The ice particles sublimate, meaning go straight from ice to vapor, and you're back to blue sky.
If humidity is high, however, contrails can persist and those are the ones that trouble climatologists.
One study showed the contrails from only six aircraft spread over 7,700 square miles.
We don’t really know how contrails impact our weather. One tantalizing study done for the three days after September 11, 2001, when there was no commercial aircraft traffic over the U.S., showed on average, daytime temperatures were 2 degrees warmer and nighttime temps were 2 degrees cooler. In other words, one impact of contrails may be decreasing temperature variability from day and night.
To learn more about contrails, check out this National Weather Service website: http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/science/contrail.php?wfo=fgz.
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Chemtrails film troubling for audience
By Gerry Masuda, The Citizen March 23, 2011
The chemtrails we have been seeing over Duncan since the 1980s has now been exposed by an investigative filmmaker. The film was troubling to the 40 to 50 individuals who attended the showing.
Last Thursday, the Eye-Opener film was What in the World Are They Spraying? It was about chemtrails seen over Duncan since the 1980s, over other Canadian cities, throughout the U.S., and Europe. To me, this film posed the following troubling aspects.
First is the violation of the precautionary principle which prevent experiments which could cause possible harm to humans or the environment. (A more thorough definition could be viewed on Wikipedia.)
Scientists in the film stated that research on effects of aluminum particles on humans are now only in the initial stages. The film also records other troubling effects resulting from the aluminum and barium from chemtrails on plants and animal life. The precautionary principle is being flagrantly violated by scientists working for governments.
The second troubling aspect is why we the people, who are being affected, have not been consulted or informed. It is not possible to get information out of our MPs and government departments which deny chemtrails exist. The inability to get official information is troubling. What has become of our democracy?
The third troubling aspect is the purpose of the chemtrail project. The stated reason is to try to cool the climate to avoid global warming. The accumulated cost of this multi-year, multi-country project must now be over a billion dollars. What secret purpose could justify such high continuing program costs? The secrecy surrounding this chemtrail project is troubling.
It is time for we the people to start asking questions and demanding answers of our MPs.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Weathering climate change with Napa Valley’s grapegrowers
REBECCA HUVAL Napa Valley Register | Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2011 12:00 am
Grapes drooped off the vine last summer like sacks of raisins.
Rows and rows of fruit shriveled as Will Drayton, a viticulturist at Treasury Wine Estates, examined them with dread. Low in sugar and high in acid, this type of grape, he said, “makes terrible wine.”
On each piece of fruit a brownish-pink spot pointed like an accusing finger in the direction of the sun.
“Whole blocks burned,” he said.
To adapt to global warming, Treasury and others who grow Napa Valley wine grapes have recently tweaked their growing techniques. The trend isn’t new — vineyards have been shifting toward “green” for decades. Change has been spurred on by anti-herbicide activism, Napa River restoration and worldwide sustainability movements.
In Napa, sustainable farming “is not just strictly an environmental thing,” Drayton said. “It makes healthier grapes.”
Adaptations range from cutting back on pesticides to increasing Napa River shade that cools down the water for endangered steelhead and salmon.
It takes a sophisticated grapegrower to juggle all the needs of land and water, experts say.
“There’s this notion that farmers aren’t smart,” said Laurel Marcus, executive director of the California Land Stewardship Institute in Napa, “and that’s just not true. It’s a combination of accidents and practical knowledge.”
Accidents such as the burned grapes have led grapegrowers to pursue research. The Napa Valley Vintners commissioned a study of global warming’s potential effects on the wine industry.
Because of earlier studies, they were worried the valley was warming. Instead, four years of research and 12,000 data reports later, scientists released surprising findings this winter: despite heat spikes, global warming may cause Napa Valley to cool down.
This doesn’t count as good news.
“Nobody wants to see anything change,” said Chris Howell, a member of the Napa Valley Vintners Climate Study Task Force. “We’ve been growing cabernet sauvignon over 100 years. Climate change is a global issue, but we will deal with it and live with it locally.”
To deal with climate change, Napa growers have changed their mindsets.
In a valley in the Stags Leap grapegrowing region, a blanket of grass and wildflowers weaves between gnarled vines that will one day bear petite sirah. California poppies, rose and crimson cloves, henbit, barley and pineapple weed — these make up the cover crop.
The bed of weeds serves as a compost, breaking down nitrogen in the soil so that vine roots can absorb it.
Nearby, a red-tailed hawk surveys the vineyard. It feeds off the mice, squirrels and insects supported by the cover crop in Stags Leap.
Growers weren’t always so laissez-faire.
Fifteen years ago, vineyards were doused with pesticides and scoured bare between the vinerows. Insects, weeds and pests were battled as archenemies of the holy vine.
Then, attitudes changed. Where the land was once bald, farmers left weeds and insects wild. Pesticide use was reined in.
Otherwise, “You kill off all the bugs you’re trying to kill as well as the beneficial insects that would be naturally controlling your pests,” Drayton said. “Then you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of trying to spray all the time.”
Over decades, this more holistic acceptance of wildlife has led to an overall attitude change still at play. Vineyard managers invited insects back by cultivating cover crop, built birdhouses and erected solar panels.
They have even sacrificed the bottom line.
Since 2004, Laurel Marcus has asked vineyard owners to slash vine rows to make way for the Napa River. They plant trees and expand shorelines where grapes — and, in turn, money — once grew.
Despite the revenue tradeoff in some cases, Napa Valley grapegrowers have signed up more than 50,000 acres to the voluntary California Land Stewardship program to improve agricultural practices.
“They have to see there’s a value in it for them,” Marcus said. “Vineyard managers know the environment around them. They know their creeks better than anyone else.”
At Treasury Estates, managers watched as the Napa River flooded regularly. “You couldn’t see the vines,” Drayton remembered. They donated 3.4 acres of the Beringer vineyard, which should alleviate their flooding problems in addition to helping the river.
The 55-mile Napa River erodes less with expanded shorelines and supports more biodiversity among riverside plants and animals.
Some grapegrowers cultivate their own biodiversity. They plant a variety of native species beside the Napa River to shade the water and cool it down to 60 to 65 degrees, the ideal temperature for salmon.
In Oakville, viticulturalist Katey Taylor bends down to examine the small seedlings the Robert Mondavi Winery planted beside the Tokalon Ranch stretch of the river.
“Snowberry,” she said, pointing to a white bulb. “California rose, coyote bush, monkey flower.”
Nearby, a birdhouse, one of 80 on the vineyard, welcomes bluebirds. Three years ago, the company also planted six hedgerows to shelter owls, raptors and songbirds on their 1,400 acres of vineyards.
“I think there’s been a shift,” she said, “of people recognizing we need to coexist with the vineyards and the land.”
But that sustainability can come with a steep price tag. Far Niente Winery paid $4.2 million in 2008 for 994 solar panels floating on their farm pond.
They didn’t pay millions just for an easy conscience, said Larry Maguire, president of the winery. The system was built “both for an economic reason and the socially responsible reason.”
The long-term investment is clear from their electric bill. Since April 2008, the company’s PG&E bill plummeted from $110,00 yearly to a more manageable number — $0.
The winery actually creates an excess of energy that cycles back to Pacific Gas & Electric’s grid. On a recent cloudy morning, the panels produced 229 kilowatts. The winery used 52.1 kilowatts at that moment and donated 176.9 to PG&E.
The electric company did pay the winery once — a one-time $1 million rebate — but there’s no additional financial incentive for the winery to save more energy than it already does.
If PG&E paid the company for its excess energy, “We would be encouraged to replace light bulbs in our cellars,” Maguire said.
Still, the winery already has financial reasons to invest in the environment and save energy. In Napa Valley, “We live in an economy where our revenue is based on the weather,” Maguire said. “We like the planet just the way it is.”
Instead, the planet has changed in increments.
In the Napa Valley, climate reports have shown nighttime temperatures shifting more than daytime highs. Overall, the nights have become slightly warmer by less than one degree over 60 years, according to the climate report commissioned by the Napa Valley Vintners.
The same geography that’s ideal for many wine grapes and keeps the temperature moderate might turn Napa into an anomaly of global warming.
Thanks to the Pacific Ocean, warmer temperatures in the Central Valley suck cool air into Napa Valley.
Yet the summer heat spikes persist.
“We have been very fortunate because of the marine influence and the dampening effect it has,” said Jim Verhey, director of Napa Valley Grapegrowers, “but what’s really happened is weather has gotten more extreme.”
Extreme highs — up to 114 degrees — shriveled many grapes in Napa Valley last summer. Will Drayton declared the majority of a vineyard block unfit for wine. It produced one ton of grapes per acre instead of the 3.5 tons it normally makes.
So in the same spirit of the solar panels and river bank restoration, Treasury Wine Estates adapted.
Growers replanted the desolate block where Drayton found shriveled grapes. They changed the orientation of their vine rows to northeast by southwest so that the sun doesn’t pound on the grapes at its summertime zenith.
To further shade the fruit, growers inserted “cross arms,” wires that encourage branches to bend over the grapes they produce, protecting them like an umbrella from the sun.
“How do we deal with a change in climate, short-term and long-term?” Verhey asked. “It’s hard.”
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Last updated: Friday March 18, 2011, 1:27 AM
The once beautiful clear blue skies of Vernon have recently been taken over by hundreds of large airplanes littering our once pristine blue landscape with just as many chemtrails reminding us of their presence. Let’s not forget the faint odor of jet fuel making you question, "Do I really want my kids out in the yard, running playing and breathing in neurotoxins omitted from the emissions that fall from the skies in particulates so small they will never be seen by the human eye, but could enter children’s bodies in an instant and remain in their lungs forever, causing anything from asthma to cancer. Or maybe it will be the lead they will inhale from the avgas that a lot of the bigger planes are still using.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BEVERLY ANN BUDZ
This photograph was taken on Jan. 24 outside the Vernon Municipal building. What a sad day it is that a community over 40 miles away from any major airport should be under siege from 747’s and Air Busses that can carry up to 500 people per flight. How is it that one day you are listening to the Red Shoulder Hawks scream with delight as they ride the wind over your development, only to wake the next morning to a Jumbo jet cruising over your home at 1700 feet? (Highland Lakes is 1300 feet above sea level; planes can fly as low as 3000 feet and they do.)
And what about property values in Vernon, especially Highland Lakes and Barry Lakes? Do you want to walk out your door and see an air show every day as long as you live here? I do not! By law a realtor must disclose flight path information, and once people are aware that Vernon now has very heavy air traffic over it, prospective buyers will be smart to take this intrusion into consideration before purchasing a home in our community. Yes, we have beautiful lakes, great ski resorts, and a huge water park, and some of the best golf courses. We have Bald Eagles and even endangered species such as the Red Shoulder Hawks and the Pileated Woodpeckers, Timber Rattlers and Bog Turtles, plenty of places to hike and fish, and a great school system, but all that taken into consideration since January 18th 2011 we also have hundreds—and I mean hundreds—of commuter and Jumbo Air Liners flying over our beautiful town every day.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We can call our Congressman Scott Garrett ask him to represent us. Mayor Sally Rinker and the council have directed the town manager to put a template letter on the Vernon township website see vernontwp.com Vernon residents are insisting that these new flights over Vernon be moved back to wherever they were prior to Jan 18, 2011. They were not here before and we cannot afford for them to be here now! The community must join together for this cause!
Vernon has had great moments of speaking out from the stopping of cell towers, to mothers laying down in front of dump trucks to stop soil contaminated with radon from being brought into Vernon in the 80’s. Vernon residents care and always have cared about Vernon. From the ground to the skies we must preserve the beauty and integrity of our town.
S.O.S. Save Our Skies.
Beverly Ann Budz
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
Condensation Trails Over Northern Florida, USA
January 16th, 2011 Category: Clouds, Lakes
USA - December 29th, 2010
"The Florida Peninsula stretches across this image, bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Inland, a notable body of water is Lake Okeechobee, appearing brownish in color towards the southern tip of the peninsula."
"At the northern end of the peninsula, by the border with Georgia, many condensation trails (or contrails) can be seen criss-crossing the skies. These series of lines are vapor trails from passing aircraft."
BEWARE OF PROPAGANDA CONTRAIL HYPE!
Click here for an Update to our Message. It will answer a lot of your questions.
Welcome to RadiationNetwork.com, home of the National Radiation Map, depicting environmental radiation levels across the USA, updated in real time every minute. This is the first web site where the average citizen (or anyone in the world) can see what radiation levels are anywhere in the USA at any time (see Disclaimer below).
Nuclear Site Alert Level = 100 CPM
How the Map Works:
A growing number of Radiation Monitoring Stations across the country, using various models of Digital GeigerCounters, upload their Radiation Count data in real time to their computer using a Data Cable, and then over the Internet to this web site, all of this accomplished through GeigerGraph for Networks software.
How to Read the Map:
Referring to the Map Legend at the bottom left corner of the map, locate Monitoring Stations around the country that are contributing radiation data to this map as you read this, and watch the numbers on those monitoring stations update as frequently as every minute (your browser will automatically refresh). The numbers represent radiation Counts per Minute, abbreviated CPM, and under normal conditions, quantify the level of background radiation, i.e. environmental radiation from outer space as well as from the earth's crust and air. Depending on your location within the US, your elevation or altitude, and your model of Geiger counter, this background radiation level might average anywhere from 5 to 60 CPM, and while background radiation levels are random, it would be unusual for those levels to exceed 100 CPM. Thus, the "Alert Level" for the National Radiation Map is 100 CPM, so if you see any Monitoring Stations with CPM value above 100, further indicated by an Alert symbol over those stations, it probably means that some radioactive source above and beyond background radiation is responsible.
Notice the Time and Date Stamp at the bottom center of the Map. That is Arizona Time, from where we service the Network, and your indication of how recently the Radiation Levels have been updated to the Map.
(Please note: Any White circles on the map represent Monitoring Stations that are running Simulations, instead of using a real Geiger counter, so any Alert levels that may occur over those stations are to be ignored since they represent only momentary testing.)
How to Participate in the Nationwide Radiation Network:
If you want to join this nationwide grass roots effort to monitor the radiation in our environment, then this is all you need (click on the Software link):
|Digital Geiger Counter (See models below)|
|GeigerGraph Software and Data Cable|
|Computer with Windows Operating System|
|Internet Access (Direct connection preferred)|
In fact, if you become an active participant in this network (instead of just a passive viewer of this website), the GeigerGraph software that you use will incorporate the same Radiation Map as above, but your map will be fully interactive, with zoom capabilities, descriptions of Nuclear Sites and Monitoring Stations, additional Map Layers, including Counties, Airports, Roads, Railroads, Lakes and Rivers, and even the capability to download City Streets for your county. Plus, in keeping with the elements of a true Network, the GeigerGraph software has its own Chat forum.
Compatible Geiger Counter Models:
|Monitor 4 (yr 2008 redesign)|
|Radalert 50 and Radalert 100|
|Digilert 50 and Digilert 100|
Most of these models, as well as the GeigerGraph for Networks software, are available at GeigerCounters.com, a web site operated by Mineralab. Click on the text hyperlinks in the previous sentence to go there. You can also contact us here:
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Thursday, March 17, 2011
"This digital photograph taken through the windows of the International Space Station on May 15, 2002, shows condensation trails over the Rhône Valley in the region west of Lyon. Condensation trails—or contrails—are straight lines of ice crystals that form in the wake of jet liners where air temperatures at altitude are lower than about ?40°C. Newer contrails are thin whereas older trails have widened with time as a result of light winds. Because of this tendency for thin contrails to cover greater areas with time, it is estimated that these “artificial clouds” cover 0.1% of the planet's surface. Percentages are far higher in some places such as southern California, the Ohio River Valley and parts of Europe, as illustrated here. The climatic impact of such clouds is poorly understood. In an unprecedented experiment following the September 11 grounding of all aircraft in the United States, researchers reported in the August 8 issue of Nature that temperatures in areas usually affected by contrail blankets fluctuated higher and lower during the contrail-free period. Despite this dramatic conclusion, it is nevertheless too early to know whether contrails produce a net warming or cooling of the atmosphere. Whereas cirrus clouds seem to have a net warming effect, contrails are denser and thus may produce the opposite effect."
"Numerous airplane contrails crisscross the English Channel, providing visual proof of how common air travel is. Contrails form when hot, humid jet exhaust is expelled into the cold air at high altitudes, typically more than 8 kilometers (5 miles), above the ground. The exhaust freezes directly into ice crystals, forming thin streaks along the path of the jet. The resulting condensation trails only last a few hours, as can be seen in this Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image pair. Many of the contrails that were visible in the morning overpass have faded in the afternoon overpass. This image pair, acquired on December 9, 2003, by the Aqua and the Terra satellites, also shows the increase in air traffic during the day. Many more contrails are visible in the afternoon compared to the morning."
"While modern air travel is a necessity to modern life, its effect on the planet’s radiation budget—the balance between the planet’s incoming sunlight and outgoing heat energy, which drives climate change—is not well understood. This true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image, acquired on April 25, 2004 by the Terra satellite, shows a web of contrails over northwestern Europe. These contrails are straight lines of ice crystals that form in the wake of jet liners where air temperatures at altitude are lower than about 40°C. Newer contrails are thin whereas older trails have widened with time as a result of light winds. The problem with contrails is that they can spread into extensive high, thin cirrus clouds, which tend to warm the Earth because they reflect less sunlight back to space than the amount of heat they trap. Because of this tendency for thin contrails to cover greater areas with time, it is estimated that these artificial clouds cover 0.1% of the planet’s surface. Percentages are far higher in places with more air traffic, such as southern California, the Ohio River Valley and parts of Europe, as illustrated here. Tracking the formation of contrails is key to determining their contribution to cirrus clouds and their effect on the energy balance. Information and studies about contrails can be found at the Earth Observatory."
"This SeaWiFS view of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan took in several contrails and their shadows. Contrails have recently been cited as having potentially significant impacts on global climate."
"These odd cloud formation over the Pacific Ocean southwest of California possibly started out as a collection of airplane contrails."