One might assume that anything that might reflect sunlight back into space, like bright aircraft contrails, would be good for decreasing the effects of global warming, but a new study predicts that the atmospheric heat trapped by the water vapor in the ‘trails will triple by the middle of the
NASA scientists say that cirrus clouds formed by contrails increased surface temperatures enough to account for all the warming that took place in the United States between 1975 and 1994. This totally ignores major global warming causes like changes in ocean currents, which have been observed by NASA’s own satellites. This statement may be a result of government pressure on NASA to discredit the upcoming film The Day After Tomorrow.
The U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command scrambled fighter jets last week in an attempt to identify a contrail that was first seen near the Turks and Caicos Islands and later over the Midwestern United States. Reports on the contrail were first received around 4 p.m. Wednesday, according to Lt. Cmdr. Curtis Jenkins. Commercial airline pilots reported the contrail over Florida and then Indiana, but there were no more sightings after that.
Ever since its been discovered that contrails increase global warming, researchers have been trying to figure out what to do about it. Jets affect the weather two ways: by emitting CO2 from their engines and also through their contrails. Contrails trap heat in the atmosphere by reflecting the infrared radiation coming from the Earth’s surface. They could be eliminated if aircraft reduced their altitude from about 33,000 feet to between 24,000 feet and 31,000 feet. But lower altitude means denser air and higher air resistance, so planes would have to burn more fuel, giving off more CO2 emissions. This would cancel out the benefits of no contrails.