I’m very active since my retirement from the rat-race. I don’t have lots of time to watch or read about the weather. But I do manage to keep up. One of the better ten-minute periods I spent was on a global warming written by meteorologist Jon Plotkin of the former science site Decoded Science.
What a Difference a Day Makes
Some mistakenly think each day should be degrees warmer “if there is such a thing as global warming.” They want to think they know what it is without reading any scientific explanation. The global warming article is special in that it does not focus on high temperature, but temperature difference—the high temperature of the day minus the low temperature of the day. This temperature difference is of key importance.
A Two for One Special
The conclusions derived during Jon’s discussion would have been sufficient material for a very satisfactory article, but it goes one step further. And that step is a tantalizing one. It involves contrails. On a clear day especially, we may see one or more straight white lines across the blue sky.* These contrails discharge from aircraft. They are narrow at the exit point, but as the aircraft travels on, the atmosphere widens them.
Global Warming – The Human Touch
These temporary, man-made clouds may well exert an effect on the weather, simply because there are so many of them. In lieu of the former Plotkin article, you may enjoy this piece from NOAA: Do Contrails Affect Conditions on the Surface?
* One contrail humorously appears where it should not appear, on an old Daniel Boone movie starring Fess Parker and Jimmy Deane. Keep your eye on the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
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