Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Cirrus and Contrails

It had been a blue bird day with a chilly flow out of a large high pressure area over north central Ontario - not a cloud in the sky. By 5 pm I was finished all of my chores and ready to paint. Then "out of the blue of the western sky came" the evening flights from Pearson east bound toward Europe. Some bands of real cirrus also came into view behind the ridge and in advance of an approaching system. Clouds and weather are always an inspiration so I grabbed a small canvas and did my best.

A large proportion of the ice crystals in the upper atmosphere are now the result of aircraft. There was no such phenomenon in the time of Tom Thomson. The resulting cloud acts as a thermal blanket raising the nighttime surface temperatures underneath by an average of 10 degrees Celsius. After 911 and the three day grounding of aircraft in North America research showed that the diurnal temperatures ranged almost 2 degrees more than normal. Daytime maxima went up without the contrails blocking the sunlight. Nighttime temperatures went down without the thermal blanket of contrails. Human activities have a profound effect on the environment.

A gaggle of about sixty goslings and eight supervising adults grazed the clover I had planted as a front lawn. I think they are now trained to do "their business" on the lawn and not the sidewalk.

If you recognized the quote above you are probably a baby boomer like me. It originates from a television program we watched every Saturday morning.

No comments: