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Solving Problems
Contrails and Climate Change
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  • rheddles


  • LarryD

    Back just after 9/11, aircraft flights were grounded. This gave scientists a chance to evaluate the effect of contrails on weather/climate. The conclusion: Contrails moderated temperature swings (variability), but did not affect average temperature.

  • Andrew Allison

    A climate change story that has it all indeed. Con trails consist primarily of water vapor (, a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. Reducing the particulate matter around which the vapor condensed will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. The well-documented negative consequences of using ethanol as fuel (crop diversion, increased CO2 emissions, etc.) make this a double whammy.

    • rheddles

      Steam should be declared a pollutant by the EPA. No more boiling dihydrogenmonoxide !

      • Andrew Allison

        It’s not just boiling this dreadful pollutant — it evaporates, so is clear that water must be eliminated. Climate lunacy knows no bounds!

  • Gary Hemminger

    What is the return on investment in blending ethanol with jet fuel? How much effect does it have on climate change vs. the cost? That is the question. That is always the question. If you cannot answer even that basic question, then carrying out the action may or may not be cost effective. We know for sure that if we eliminate all cars that death by car accident will be eliminated. Does it make sense to do that? I don’t think it does.

    And the statement “Don’t listen to deniers when they tell you climate change isn’t a problem,” makes no sense. The climate has always changed. There were ice sheets a mile deep covering NY 10,000 years ago. If the point of the article is that we can adapt and change, then yes, that is fine. But unless and until there is some magic mechanism to separate natural climate change from human induced climate change, there is no way to know the extent of our culpability for the climate variation. If the Earth starts to go back to Ice Age, should we start pumping CO2 in the atmosphere to ward the cold off? What if this creates a catastrophic reaction that we cannot control.

    Nothing better shows the ridiculousness of the whole green movement than this piece by George Carlin. I suggest you watch it.

    • Andrew Allison

      Are you seriously suggesting that we should apply cost/benefit analysis to the hunt for green unicorns?

  • Mark Drela

    Not all biofuels are equal. The biofuel the report mentions is not ethanol. It’s an oil made from seeds, also called “biodiesel”, which is actually a technically-feasible substitute for conventional diesel or jet fuel.

    In contrast, using ethanol as jet fuel almost hopeless. Its lower energy per weight means it takes roughly twice as much ethanol as jet fuel to fly a medium-range flight.

    • Andrew Allison

      Doesn’t the fact that ethanol has lower energy per unit weight mean that it would require twice as much to fly any distance? More to the point, the water vapor not condensed is much more harmful than the condensed water.

  • Arkeygeezer

    Maybe, the Trump administration will do something about the ethanol boondoggle that takes millions from the driving public and puts it into the pockets of Corporate corn farmers.

  • ვეფხისტყაოსანი

    No mention of chemtrails? Wake up, sheeple!

    • f1b0nacc1

      Thank you, I was waiting for that!

  • Wayne Lusvardi

    Re: Don’t listen to deniers when they tell you climate change isn’t a problem…..

    Look, no one should deny “climate change”. Deserts were once tropical forests. The City of Los Angeles was once teeming with dinosaurs who lives in such a forest (La Brea Tarpits). But that sort of climate change takes eons and if and when it occurs it might shift hot Arizona to cooler Alabama, not quite a disaster in the year 5,000 or 10,000 or 100,000.

    Sudden climate change predicted by climate statistical models would do what: change our temperature to the hotter climes around the Equator? No big deal.

    Now there is climate change in the Southwestern US. It’s called drought (and deluge). We already have pre-mitigated its effects. We have made the Southwestern US into a hydraulic water society where water is conveyed great distances to urban population centers. We store water behind dams to do this. So, no, climate change is not a problem (except maybe to the extent we don’t continue to build dams and manage our water supplies).

    So one doesn’t have to be a “climate denier” just someone who declares the problem was solved long ago. Game over, defund all the global warming research.

  • Che Guevara

    Climate change science is far from settled.

    Says who? Was this article written by a climatologist, or by a journalist? Then why do journalists and politicians feel they have the authority to make pronouncements on science?
    Politicians and journalists should debate the policies designed to counteract global warming, and how much money should be spent, or not spent. But only scientists have the authority to make pronouncements on science. Politicians and journalists who make pronouncements on science are liars and frauds.

    • Andrew Allison

      I think you have this backwards: it’s scientists who make pronouncements like “the science is settled” who are the liars and frauds. Science is never settled, as is demonstrated on a daily basis by the stubborn refusal of the planet to conform to the dictats of climate “scientists”.

      • Che Guevara

        And you know all this about science because you’re a scientist? Non-scientists aren’t qualified to debate science. But at the same time scientists aren’t more qualified to debate policy than anyone else is. Politicians make the mistake of debating science, while many scientists think they are qualified to dictate policy.

  • DiogenesDespairs

    Um, clouds reflect sunlight back out into space, increasing the planet’s albedo and decreasing the amount of energy that reaches the surface of the earth. In addition, energy absorbed and reradiated as heat at high altitudes also dissipates upward into space. Atrcraft contrails should have a COOLING effect.

    I call global warming fraud.

    • Andrew Allison

      How about brain-dead regurgitation of manifestly ridiculous climate “news”?

    • LarryD

      Clouds have different effects on Earth’s surface temperature, depending on their altitude. Who knew?

  • “Don’t listen to deniers when they tell you climate change isn’t a problem …”
    I suspect that if you look into the question closely, global warming (not climate which has always been changing) is not a real problem. There have been many past ages when the planet has been significantly warmer than now, the last having been the Medieval Warm Period between roughly 900 AD to 1300 AD. That was then followed by the cooling phase of that long cycle, which we call the Little Ice Age from roughly 1350 AD to 1860 AD. We are now in the warming phase again which will last until around 2400. These warming phases have been characterized with lush vegetation and abundant crops.

    What “deniers” like myself usually claim is man is not the causer of this warming because of human CO2 emissions. Instead, the warming period between 1975 and the late 1990s on which warming alarmists fixated was an approximately 30 year half period of warming caused by entirely natural causes. See my post “Solar Wind, Cosmic Rays and Clouds: The Determinants of Global Warming” for the argument’s details. The URL is

  • Matt Book

    By writing “a climate change story that has it all” I thought you meant:
    – NASA climate scientists at it again
    – Quality dodges using the passive voice: “it’s currently thought the warming effect associated…”
    – More bold predictions from models
    – Biofuel boondoggles to save the day
    – Journalists blithely writing “The basics of climate change are well understood at this point” and invoking the dreaded term “deniers”

    Yes, I agree this story does have it all!

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