Tag Archives: persistent contrails

Happy Chemtrails to You: Scientists Debunk Fringe Theory | HowStuffWorks NOW

Las Vegas TV station finds no proof of chemtrails: ‘I’m sorry to say, but it’s crazy’

By Travis Gettys via rawstory

A conspiracy theorist convinced a Las Vegas TV station to look into chemtrails for an investigative report, which aired during February sweeps month.

Malcolm Harris showed some photographs he took to KLAS-TV that showed what he believes are chemtrails – manmade formations that some suspect are created by the government to control the weather or population.

chemtrail UFO culprit_250px“You could see the very beginning and the end, and it was very clean and it stood by itself,” Harris said. “There wasn’t anything else around it. I’ve seen clouds being made out here in the desert. All of a sudden you see a cloud being made, and that is not what was going on.”

He said the formation was clearly manmade and unnatural, and aviation writer Bill Sweetman doesn’t disagree.

However, after reviewing the photos, he isn’t convinced they’re chemtrails.

The aviation expert said he spoke to defense industry colleagues and suggested the formations were caused by advanced pyrotechnics – or flares used by fast jets to confuse enemy forces.

George Barnes, producer of the chemtrails film “Look Up,” said various groups are spraying the skies for a variety of reasons.

“The conclusion is, because it is unregulated, anybody could do it,” Barnes said. “So anybody that is interested in experimenting with climate engineering, weather modification, has the right and the authority to test it.”

He claims there is no evidence that grid patterns existed in the sky prior to 2006, but he’s not sure what has changed since then.

However, KLAS reported that the station’s photographers captured checkerboard patterns in the 1990s, and contrails – lingering trails of condensation – are visible in older photos and video footage.

“The reality is . . .

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“To think there could be a global conspiracy … is crazy”

Video via KLAS-TV Las Vegas

How Contrails Form

By Aleks Udris (@udri) via Boldmethod

contrails 01_250pxContrails are real – they’re not a government conspiracy to spray chemicals (big surprise, huh?!?). But, did you know there are two types of contrails? Aircraft can generate both aerodynamic contrails and exhaust contrails. Check them out.

Contrails are “condensation trails,” and they have nothing to do with chemicals. They occur when water condenses into a cloud – in either liquid or ice-crystal form. Contrails come in two varieties: aerodynamic and exhaust contrails.

Aerodynamic Contrails

Aerodynamic contrails occur when moist air cools due to lowered pressure, condensing humidity in the air and forming a contrail cloud.

What causes an aerodynamic contrail? It can come from any surface which lowers the air pressure – but it’s commonly caused by your propellor or wings. When an airfoil decreases air pressure, it also decreases the air’s temperature. If the humidity’s high, the drop in temperature and pressure can lower the air’s temperature past the dew point and form a contrail cloud.

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The more your wings decrease pressure, the greater the temperature drop. So, an aircraft with high wing loading can generate large aerodynamic contrails. An F-15 pulling G’s and a 737 at a high angle of attack are great examples of this effect.

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Aerodynamic contrails don’t last long. As soon as the aerodynamically cooled air comes back up to ambient temperature, the contrails dissipate. That’s why aerodynamic contrails are so short lived.

Exhaust Contrails

Exhaust contrails are more common, and they’re usually seen behind aircraft cruising in the flight levels. They form when hot, moist air exiting an engine mixes with extremely cold air – condensing the exhaust’s moisture.

How cold does the air need to be?

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The Conspiracy That Isn’t: Debunking Chemtrails

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By Phil Derner Jr. and John Steffen via NYCAviation

contrails 01_250pxThere are several conspiracy theories that involve aviation. The most famous of these involve the aliens of Roswell and the tragic events of September 11th.  However, there is one conspiracy theory that has a measurable amount of believers that is easily refuted with the simple laws of science and statistics. This is, of course, chemtrails.

Those who subscribe to the Chemtrail theory believe that the entire aviation industry, military and civilian, are tasked by the U.S. government to spray artificial clouds high above the ground in our atmosphere with the intent of altering our climate or inoculating the population with inhalable drugs. This theory is based on the visible identification of the common aircraft contrail, and a reliance on the fallacy that it can be identified as something else.

So in a final sweeping motion, what do you say we explain-away this whole chemtrail thing after all, shall we?

The Science & History

When an organic material is burned, it will produce different compounds: soot, smoke, and various oxides.  What is produced will vary depending on the material that was burned and the process in which it was burned.  However there are two things that are generally universal in the burning of organics; water and carbon dioxide.

Generally, neither of these can be seen with the naked eye unless temperatures are cold and the steam condenses into visible water vapor.  This is common from smoke stacks, the tailpipes of automobiles, or even your breath in the winter months.

Not a chemtrail: Contrails stream out of the four Wright 1820 radial engines on these B-17 bombers during World War II.

Not a chemtrail: Contrails stream out of the four Wright 1820 radial engines on these B-17 bombers during World War II.

The gasoline engine creates about one gallon of water for each gallon of gasoline consumed.  When the engine is shut down, the remaining water oxidizes (or rusts) the exhaust and the engine’s cylinders.  This limits the life of the exhaust system and the engine, but is not a major problem and is accepted as part of the normal process and life cycle of the internal combustion engine.

This water, seemingly innocuous, became lethal in the Second World War for the crews of the Boeing B-17 bomber.  The four Wright turbocharged engines in the B-17 allowed it to climb above 30,000 feet.  The humid exhaust of the engines quickly froze in the minus 40 degree air (temperatures become significantly colder at higher altitudes) leaving long white clouds behind the bombers indicating their presence and precise location to the German fighters.  The safety of being at altitude was compromised by these telltale condensation trails, or contrails.

The military worked to find a solution and discovered that certain acidic compounds injected into the exhaust eliminated contrails.  This solution became available after the conclusion of the war and was immediately obsolete with the advent of radar, which allowed airplanes to be “seen” regardless of the time of day or weather.  This idea was later briefly resurrected with the Northrop B-2 stealth bomber, though ultimately not incorporated into the design.

The Commercial Jet Age

Not a chemtrail: A KLM 747-400 leaves four distinct contrails in its wake as it flies over Russia. Image courtesy Sergey Kustov via Wikimedia Commons.

Not a chemtrail: A KLM 747-400 leaves four distinct contrails in its wake as it flies over Russia. Image courtesy Sergey Kustov via Wikimedia Commons.

The post-war, high altitude commercial airliners typically operated around 25,000 feet.  Only the low production Boeing 377, though still propeller-driven, could climb above 30,000 feet and was most commonly operated as an intercontinental airliner.  Because of this, contrails were rarely seen in the United States prior to the 1960s.

The year 1958 was a watershed year in commercial aviation.  Boeing introduced the 707 and Douglas the DC-8, while a year later Convair debuted the 880.  The turbojet engines on these airliners thrived in the cold thin air found above 30,000 feet and they were routinely operated in these flight levels.  In the 1960′s, contrails became commonplace across the United States, especially along designated jet airways between ground based navigation aids.  When the temperature is low enough and the humidity high enough, the 1,500 gallons of water produced every hour by these jetliners was transformed into four cirrus clouds.

When the humidity is very high, the contrails will remain for hours.  In moderate humidity the contrails may last  .  .  .

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What are chemtrails, and are they dangerous?

By CLINT WILLIAMS via The Bellingham Herald

Look! Up in the sky!

It’s a bird!

It’s a plane!

It’s a chemtrail!

chemtrail TicTacToe_250pxThe persistent high-altitude contrails are more than stripes in the stratosphere. They are the stuff of conspiracy theories on par with Area 51, the Roswell UFO crash and who shot JFK.

The chemtrail conspiracy theory claims that some contrails are chemical, biological or otherwise toxic elements sprayed at high altitudes by government agencies _ of some sort _ for the purpose of _ well, something not good. It’s high-altitude crop dusting for nefarious purposes, the tin-foil hat crowd claims.

Normal jet airliner exhaust contrails quickly dissipate, the conspiracy theory holds. Chemtrails _ which are loaded with toxic heavy metals and heaven knows what else _ linger in the sky for hours.

The theory has no scientific basis, writes Grant Petty, a professor of atmospheric science and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“The lifetime and behavior of contrails depend on the environmental conditions in which they form,” Petty writes. “Growing contrails result when the humidity at high altitudes is at or above the saturation point with respect to ice. So when condensation is injected in the atmosphere at those altitudes, the microscopic particles of ice don’t simply evaporate, they persist and even grow, and they are spread by the winds into broader patches of cirrus cloud.”

If persistent contrails are more common, Petty suggests, it is because there is more high-altitude airliner traffic and the stratospheric humidity is higher because of the moisture left by the contrails of all that traffic.

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Also See: A Million Poisoning Planes

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