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Noctilucent Clouds Spread and Mystify

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the nature's-own-light-pollution dept.

Earth 227

Wired has a feature on noctilucent clouds, once seen only at high latitudes but increasingly visible now lower down the globe. The clouds result from ice crystals at altitudes of 50 miles, higher than five 9s of the atmosphere. What water ice is doing up there, in a region 100 million times drier than the Sahara desert, is only one of the mysteries associated with the clouds. They are a recent phenomenon: the first scientific description of noctilucent clouds was penned in 1885. For a time it was believed that the clouds were an effect resulting from the eruption of the Krakatoa volcano two years before. Since 2002, the clouds have been sighted — and photographed — as far south as Oregon, Colorado, and Utah. Some scientists believe that human-caused climate change is playing a role, but others doubt this. Two satellites are in orbit to study the clouds; NASA's AIM generated this day-by-day movie of clouds in the vicinity of the North Pole during 2008.

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In case of a slashdotting... (2, Informative)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750591)

Something else to handle the load of serving the movie:

http://drop.io/noctilucent [drop.io]

Why The Stripes (4, Informative)

AtomicSnarl (549626) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750963)

The striped nature of the cloud features is probably because the data was gathered by the DMSP Weather Satellites [wikipedia.org] using their low light detection sensors. These do not take a full-earth view of the world as the sun-synchronous GOES satellites [wikipedia.org] do. DMSP vehicles operate in a lower orbit but a high angle and circular orbit. This brings them near the poles, and they cross the equator at roughly 9AM or 3PM locally to take advantage of the sun angle and shadows on clouds. They scan a wide path beneath them in visible and infrared channels, and have been used for years to do night light intensity mapping, such as for light pollution surveys. [lightpollution.it]

The stripes are the paths from the several vehicles in orbit assembled over time when they passed near the poles.

Your tax dollars at work!

Count On It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28751399)

When anything unusual and weather related happens, legions of idiots will say it is because of global warming.

Dry? (2, Insightful)

The Shootist (324679) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750627)

"What water ice is doing up there, in a region 100 million times drier than the Sahara desert"

Bloody well isn't dryer than Mars and Mars has clouds and precipitation.

Re:Dry? (3, Interesting)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750735)

This displeases me mightily:

Some scientists believe that human-caused climate change is playing a role, but others doubt this.

I've read lots of spiffy evidence to support climate change but it really itches my gizzard when 'scientists' attribute every tiny aberration in the weather to it.

However, it might just turn out that these clouds are caused by cow farts and thrown away McDonalds wrappers so I should probably just wait for these opposing scientists to finish pansy-slapping each other before I start verbally abusing them from my arm-chair.

Re:Dry? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750757)

...or we simply didnt notice them before.

Re:Dry? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750867)

Yeah, it's like all those hurricanes and droughts, there's always been as many as now, it's just that people back then just didn't notice or die from them.

Re:Dry? (2)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750943)

It's only after the battle that you have time to notice the sting of a bee or the discomfort of a blister.
--Deltora Shadowlands, Book 1 (great book series, btw)
Mankind will always find something to complain about; all these technologies that are supposed to make life better (and usually do, I'll admit) just give us more time to look.

Re:Dry? (0, Redundant)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751481)

lol, seriously...

Re:Dry? (1)

BigDXLT (1218924) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751251)

Population density has increased a bajillion-fold though. If a storm crashes into the continent and nobodies around to record it, did it happen?

Re:Dry? (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751371)

No you damn blasphemer it did not!

Re:Dry? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751177)

Right. We don't know where they come from, exactly how high they are, or exactly what they are made of, but we know god damed well they are caused by man made global warming.

Never mind they may be the very thing cooling the earth by reflecting more sunlight/heat into space than their thinness could possibly trap below.

If you ask me, since its seen so rarely, its probably the Big Splash.
http://geology.about.com/od/wildgeotheories/a/aa_smallcomets.htm [about.com]

Re:Dry? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751485)

Now THAT is a theory I can get behind. I have been running scenarios through my mind to guess how and why the ice would get up that high and exclusively at the polar areas. It seems to me that the polar areas are the only places that are moving slowly enough to maintain the group of particles that had collected. As the particles approach the equator, the decision to escape of be captured by gravity become much more definite given the great slinging effect at those speeds. And if in fact the particles entered the atmosphere, they melted pretty quickly and if they were slung away, then they wouldn't remain amassed and wouldn't be visibly detectable as a cloud. (And if they used the gravity of the sun, they were probably propelled through time into the future or the past!)

If the ice came from our own atmosphere, I am at a loss for what forces would have driven it up there to accumulate in the polar region. I'm still open to ideas though.

Re:Dry? (0, Troll)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751521)

I just wonder... when New York is under a half mile of ice and 100 miles from the nearest ocean again, are these same "scientists" going to pushing for carbon taxes to stop global warming.

Re:Dry? (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751525)

It pisses a lot of scientists off to be referred to as "scientists". The term reduces a huge range of work and an even larger range of opinions down to what sounds like a single collective body (which in fact does not exist). As a general rule, any article which does not name the scientists making a claim can be ignored.

Re:Dry? (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751641)

That comparison doesn't quite make sense to me since Antarctica is considered a desert and the driest continent on Earth.

I'm in... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750641)

Before the chemtrail conspiracists show up. Somebody break out the Orgone generators! [orgoneblasters.com]

Re:I'm in... (1)

Progman3K (515744) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750679)

I remember in some science-fiction I read many years ago, some clouds were camouflaged UFOs. Actually the clouds were living beings!

Muahahaha!

Get out the tinfoil!

Or maybe the umbrellas, I don't know...

Re:I'm in... (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750703)

don't you mean tinfoil umbrellas?

Re:I'm in... (1)

jfim (1167051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751453)

don't you mean tinfoil umbrellas?

Like this one [youtube.com] ?

Re:I'm in... (2, Funny)

RegularFry (137639) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750959)

So when it rains, we're actually getting pissed on by Aliens.

That explains so much about the UK.

Re:I'm in... (1, Offtopic)

raddan (519638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751703)

It's not piss. It's chubby rain [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I'm in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751005)

Courtesy The Onion, Is The Government Spying On Schizophrenics Enough? [youtube.com]

It's terrible, but I laughed anyway.

Holy crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28751439)

I didn't, but that was the beyond laughing kind of funny. Thanks.

Re:I'm in... (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751055)

Oh wow, man. That is hilarious.

Best text from that website:

If you think or know you are already implanted with a chip from a vaccination, flu shot, dentist, surgeon (knowingly or unknowingly through their pharmaceutical supplies) then you can cause them to malfunction within 2 days with a rare earth magnet you can buy that are cheap! I bought 10 of these magnets..the Lord showed me where to put them and I used a band aide to hold them in place. I put them as He led me to. I started on a Friday night, on Sunday I put the last 2 on because they didn't need as many hours to fry the chips as the other ones did, by Monday morning I was cleared and had neutralized all of the chips! New chips, several years old, only need about 12-24 hours to neutralize. The ones you probably got as a kid via vaccines can take 24-36 hours. So I started on a Friday night and took them off on Monday.

I haven't laughed that hard all day.

Thanks :)

Re:I'm in... (1)

Maxmin (921568) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751089)

Dude, no no no! This is all due to the HAARP [youtube.com] project, part of the conspiracy to control the weather so that the earth will heat up enough to provide a "factual" basis for all those "scientific" research projects about global "warming!"

For those of you wealthy enough to ride Virgin Galactic, through the ice cloud vortex at 50 miles, I strongly suggest bringing snow gear, and tinfoil hats to ward off the Teslan radio waves!

Re:I'm in... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751343)

Hey. You can get away with a lot on Slashdot, but don't you go dissing Tesla.

The clouds are ALIVE!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750645)

OH DEAR GOD! They're almost everywhere! I'm moving to Arizona... it's the only safe place left!

Re:The clouds are ALIVE!!!! (3, Funny)

ettlz (639203) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750801)

I'm moving to Arizona... it's the only safe place left!

Of course! There's only little fluffy clouds out there.

Re:The clouds are ALIVE!!!! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750909)

They went on forever - They - When I w- We lived in Arizona, and the skies always had little fluffy clouds in 'em, and, uh... they were long... and clear and... there were lots of stars at night. And, uh, when it would rain, it would all turn - it- They were beautiful, the most beautiful skies as a matter of fact. Um, the sunsets were purple and red and yellow and on fire, and the clouds would catch the colors everywhere. That's uh, neat cause I used to look at them all the time, when I was little. You don't see that. You might still see them in the desert.

Re:The clouds are ALIVE!!!! (2, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750945)

It's neat because I used to look at them all the time when I was little.

Re:The clouds are ALIVE!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751305)

In Soviet Russia, you watch clouds.

Synchronicity (1, Offtopic)

hey! (33014) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751475)

Just this afternoon I was driving my family to see the Harry Potter movie, and talk turned toward which Harry Potter characters we'd choose to be friends with. Everybody in my family agreed they'd like to be friends with Luna Lovegood. Then I dropped my bombshell: When I was a teenager, I was friends with somebody who was just like Luna.

"He believed anything he heard, as long as it was weird," I said.

"Like what?" they wanted to know.

"Oh, pyramid power, alien abductions, elves, ghosts and fairies, anything like that. No, seriously. He was really into cryptobiology. You know, Yeti, sea monsters, tribes of strange little people who live in the woods."

"You mean, like in South America?"

"No, near Boston, down toward Plymouth I think. Oh, yes, he believed in clouds."

"Clouds?"

"Oh, I mean sentient clouds. Intelligent ones. They supposedly have a civilization but they're so different from us we don't understand it. He had plans to build some electronic gizmo so he could listen to them. Or that might have been the ghosts. Probably both. Funny, I hadn't thought of him in years."

"What happened to him?"

"I lost touch with him, then I ran into him some years later. He told me he'd joined a satanist cult, but they'd messed his head up really bad."

Which was true. You could tell: he still believed anything weird he heard, but now that made him miserable.

We still don't know enough (1)

Kugrian (886993) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750647)

So stop messing around [slashdot.org] !

Well there can be only one answer.... (-1, Flamebait)

3seas (184403) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750655)

.... global warming.....

Lets face it, if its getting hotter and dryer down here, then the wet and cold gotta go somewhere...

Or maybe its just natures way of countering global warming..... you know like how evaporation helps cool....

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750663)

Global warming is supposed to make it hotter and wetter, not hotter and drier.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (1)

zifferent (656342) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751263)

Wetter, yes. More evaporation at higher temperatures.

But wetter where?

And since more evaporation everywhere. Where dryer?

Global warming is a big freaking question mark, except for the warming, and even that isn't writ in stone. Which is warming planet until what? Tropic like temps in Michigan? Or some global tipping point pushing us into an ice age.

Stay tuned kiddies.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751691)

Historically speaking, global warming generally means wetter just about everywhere. Global cooling generally means dryer just about everywhere.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (2, Funny)

sycodon (149926) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751721)

Hot and Wet. That's good when you're with a women, it sucks when you are in the jungle.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (2, Funny)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750669)

Or maybe its just natures way of countering global warming..... you know like how evaporation helps cool....

If the hot water vapor left the planet, then the planet would be cooler and we'd have a water shortage to deal with. Otherwise, it's a closed system and there's no net change in temperature.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (4, Insightful)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750733)

Otherwise, it's a closed system and there's no net change in temperature.

You know, except for that whole sun thing.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751623)

Otherwise, it's a closed system and there's no net change in temperature.

You know, except for that whole sun thing.

What I'm sure you know I meant was that it's a closed system with respect to the evaporation.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751063)

If the hot water vapor left the planet, then the planet would be cooler and we'd have a water shortage to deal with. Otherwise, it's a closed system and there's no net change in temperature.

Water vapor sheds itself of heat through infrared radiation like everything else. It's radiated in all directions and the rays/photons/however you want to model them have a chance to strike something else and be absorbed on their way out of the atmosphere. Hot air rises and takes with it water vapor, which when it radiates its IR at high altitudes is less likely to heat other air.

Convection... it's not just for cooking on the cheap

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751483)

Water doesn't just radiate in the IR frequency range. It radiates (and absorbs) in nearly every frequency range except for visible light and UV.

Or maybe, since temps have flatlined since '99, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750671)

We can't just reflexively blame mankind for any and all meteorological events.

Man-made "Global warming" is going to go down as one of the greatest hoaxes of our generation.

Re:Or maybe, since temps have flatlined since '99, (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750765)

Either that, or the anti-Global Warming agenda is going to be shown as a farce instituted by dogmatic opposition to anything that gets in the way of profits.

Jury's still out.

Re:Or maybe, since temps have flatlined since '99, (4, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751065)

Well, not all mankind anyway. We know because of an incontrovertible nice looking graph that pirates keep global temperatures down. As pirates have declined, temperatures have gone up.

Meanwhile, most people don't have ships, so they do the best they can pirating music. Without the ships, parrots, and peg legs, they can't be as effective as sea pirates, so they have to pirate a lot of music (latest RIAA figure: 240% of all music is pirated). The number one hindrance to their diligent efforts to cool the planet before it's too late is the RIAA. So, the RIAA is responsible for global warming, QED.

Re:Or maybe, since temps have flatlined since '99, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751135)

This fits in with recent Somali pirate episodes resulting in a decrease in global temperatures this year despite lower rates of music piracy in the UK.

I'm blaming Somali pirates for the wet weather this summer. Bastards.

Re:Or maybe, since temps have flatlined since '99, (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28751403)

Sure, why let cold, hard numbers [nasa.gov] get in the way of your irrational anti-intellectual ideology? By those numbers, the average increase relative to the base value over 2000-2008 was about one and a half times the amount of 1999. And 2009 is shaping up to be yet another fine top 10 year (just like 2008 was, despite the decent-sized drop).

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750711)

Doubtless this new phenomena creates a positive warming feedback as well (trapping MORE heat, reflecting cold, whatever.) Planet due to Venus itself in 10 years.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750957)

Well there can be only one answer....global warming.....

Actually tracer clouds [wikia.com] are the more rational explanation. Rahl's hand is in everything lately.

Re:Well there can be only one answer.... (2, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751051)

Lets face it, if its getting hotter and dryer down here

Uh... it's not. Hotter, on average, yes (and, again, that's only on average, globally). But dryer or wetter depends a great deal on weather patterns and how they change. For example, Africa has seen a decades-long drought due to the rain belt moving. Meanwhile, the poles are predicted to see more precipitation due to higher levels of H2O present in the atmosphere.

Ice Age (1)

E++99 (880734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750685)

This could be the missing phenomenon behind the ice age cycle. If so, we can forget about global warming -- we're on our way to reglaciation. It had to happen sooner or later.

Re:Ice Age (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750755)

Isn't global warming what got us out of the ice age?

I honestly don't worry about slow temperature increases. Sudden temperature drops are another matter. Here's the essay that I'm pretty certain "The Day After Tomorrow" is based on; it certainly predates it.

http://thebear.org/essays2.html#anchor506010 [thebear.org]

It's been pronounced as whack by everybody I know. And consider the source.

Still...

Re:Ice Age (0, Offtopic)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751329)

The real trick is to know "the ice age" is on the way.
Tell the public its 'global warming' and get chemtrail funding.
World cools and you saved everybody.
Chemtrail might let you do some population reduction with different chemical mixes around the world too.
It win win win for our David Rockefeller Jr's, Warren Buffett's, George Soros's, Ted Turner's and Oprah Winfrey's.
"Billionaire club in bid to curb overpopulation"
"population growth would be tackled as a potentially disastrous environmental, social and industrial threat."
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6350303.ece [timesonline.co.uk]

Re:Ice Age (2, Insightful)

E++99 (880734) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751419)

Isn't global warming what got us out of the ice age?

It's probably better to say that global warming was the getting out of the ice age. The climate got warmer, wetter, and less icy. The problem is we really have no idea what drove that global warming -- other than it was not the accumulation of greenhouse gases.

I honestly don't worry about slow temperature increases. Sudden temperature drops are another matter.

I complete agree with that. Even the most ridiculous global warming scenario can't begin to compete with a scenario where an ice sheet covers almost all of North America and global precipitation is decreased by 90%... something that has happened in the past, as regular as clockwork.

Here's the essay that I'm pretty certain "The Day After Tomorrow" is based on; it certainly predates it.

http://thebear.org/essays2.html#anchor506010 [thebear.org]

The biggest problem on the face of that theory is it says that the interglacial periods end because of a megastorm caused by certain conditions including "that the Earth be at or near perihelion...at the time of the northern winter solstice." Aside from the question of how that condition is going cause a megastorm, that condition happens on a 23,000 year cycle. A 23,000 year cycle is indeed contained in the ebbs and flows of glaciation, however, the interglacial periods (and the ends of interglacial periods and return of the glacial periods) happen on a 100,000 year cycle. The 100,000 year cycle corresponds to the change in the eccentricity in the earth's orbit... the one orbital parameter that should have the least impact upon the climate according to our (obviously flawed) understanding.

Just a wee bit sad. (3, Insightful)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750709)

Kinda disappointing that the first thing nowadays when people see something new it's that "Wow, humans really stuffed up the planet" instead of "Wow, that's an interesting natural phenomenon"

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (2, Funny)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750917)

I'd like to come to your hometown, find a nice used bookstore, buy a copy of Silent Spring, drive out to your place, and beat you around the head with it.

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751075)

It's so much easier to beat up someone who's dying due to not having DDT, and there are a lot more of those around than that one fellow.

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (5, Informative)

tsm_sf (545316) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751307)

It's so much easier to beat up someone who's dying due to not having DDT, and there are a lot more of those around than that one fellow.

Not to sidetrack this topic, but let's just get this out of the way...

Rachel Carson never wanted to ban DDT. DDT has never been banned for use in fighting malaria.

From the wikipedia page on DDT [wikipedia.org] :

In the 1970s and 1980s, agricultural use of DDT was banned in most developed countries. DDT was first banned in Hungary in 1968 then in Norway and Sweden in 1970 and the US in 1972, but was not banned in the United Kingdom until 1984. The use of DDT in vector control has not been banned, but it has been largely replaced by less persistent alternative insecticides.

The Stockholm Convention, which entered into force in 2004, outlawed several persistent organic pollutants, and restricted the use of DDT to vector control. The Convention has been ratified by more than 160 countries and is endorsed by most environmental groups. Recognizing that a total elimination of DDT use in many malaria-prone countries is currently unfeasible because there are few affordable or effective alternatives, the public health use of DDT was exempted from the ban until alternatives are developed. The Malaria Foundation International states that "The outcome of the treaty is arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations...For the first time, there is now an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant mosquitoes will be slower than before."

Despite the worldwide ban on agricultural use of DDT, its use in this context continues in India, North Korea, and possibly elsewhere.

Today, about 4-5,000 tonnes of DDT are used each year for vector control. In this context, DDT is applied to the inside walls of homes to kill or repel mosquitos entering the home. This intervention, called indoor residual spraying (IRS), greatly reduces environmental damage compared to the earlier widespread use of DDT in agriculture. It also reduces the risk of resistance to DDT. This use only requires a small fraction of that previously used in agriculture; for example, the amount of DDT that might have been used on 40 hectares (100 acres) of cotton during a typical growing season in the U.S. is estimated to be enough to treat roughly 1,700 homes.

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (1)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751669)

Mod parent up. I'm getting mighty tired of people on /. whining about the lack of DDT in our diets.

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751133)

Paranoia about human impact on the earth has been around since prehistoric times. Ancient Celtics worshiped trees, sacrificed what farming tools they had to appease the gods, and created villages that had so little impact on the environment there is almost no trace of them today.

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751193)

That's really the sort of thing that you should walk or take public transportation for.

Re:Just a wee bit sad. (1, Flamebait)

budgenator (254554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751413)

I'm just glad you weren't among the 100,105,780 people who have died from Malaria since since Carson's book was published and DDT was virtually banned and declaired a âoepotential human carcinogenâ without evidence by William Ruckelshaus [wikipedia.org]

Mother nature's own AC? (1)

An anonymous Frank (559486) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750743)

This is merely an ice crystal delivery system, to cool down the earth, for when global warming gets too, err, global?

Or, this is one giant meth lab?

What's the mystery? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750747)

Aren't comets and asteroids sometimes supposed to be made of ice?

Re:What's the mystery? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750881)

Your point? Masses of comets are dropping into the North Pole without anyone noticing and are hovering at a high altitude?

Re:What's the mystery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28751361)

Comets are dropping all the time on Earth with observation satellites noticing. When they disintegrate they leave something at a high altitude. Now all you need is a wind pattern to carry those clouds to the poles and you've got a full explanation.

Re:What's the mystery? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751471)

You don't have an explanation for why it happens now more than it did before.

APOD link (2, Interesting)

Windrip (303053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750779)

APOD story [nasa.gov]

high altitudes? (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751223)

Shoot, I've been reading this with a strange tickling of memory, and now it comes back.

Forty or more years ago, when I was a kid in west Texas, I would see clouds that glowed at night, and the explanation was light picked up from the sun which was below the horizon.

Low storm clouds.

I think this is just something no one has noticed before. Or, perhaps, no one has written an article about the phenomenae in a "scholarly journal" for several years.

The article presumes manmade global warming (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750789)

...even though the global temperature record hasn't risen since 1998. When is this hoax going to end?

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (0, Troll)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750987)

When is this hoax going to end?

When the per capita GDP of the U.S. is forced down to about $1000.

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (0, Troll)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750991)

When is this hoax going to end?

It will end when it stops being profitable to those promoting it, and not one second sooner.

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (1)

AshtangiMan (684031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751147)

Or if it stops being true. This graph [nasa.gov] shows the data from 1880. While it does look like the last 8 or so years have been a down-tick, that's only relative to the local maxima. Not saying this proves global warming as man made, but it certainly makes the argument that we are cooling look a little obtuse.

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (0, Flamebait)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751335)

Or if it stops being true.

The hoax I was referring to wasn't the claim that it's getting warmer, it's that the change is man made. Yes, the climate is changing, but so what? It's always changing. 200 years ago, it was much cooler; 1000 years ago it was somewhat warmer than it is now. It may have been about this warm between about 200 BCE and 100 CE, fueling the rise of the Roman Empire (A warmer climate brings bigger harvests, providing more food to feed the legions.) and then gotten cooler again, causing its decline. I doubt even the most fanatic AGW evangelist would claim those changes were mostly man-made, and I don't personally believe that what's happening now is, either. However, as long as there's a way to extract money from people by preaching AGW, there will be people doing it, and the moment it stops bringing in cash is when they'll stop.

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751573)

However, as long as there's a way to extract money from people by preaching AGW, there will be people doing it, and the moment it stops bringing in cash is when they'll stop.

I'm just curious as to how this money making scheme works. I mean is it just money for speeches? Is it money for research into better energy efficiency? If the latter is the case, higher energy prices regardless of global warming will accomplish that. Is raising taxes for the sake of raising taxes? As bad as politicians are they don't really get to keep the money from taxes. I'm just curious about who these rich greedy global warming activist are?

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751701)

I'm just curious as to how this money making scheme works. I mean is it just money for speeches? Is it money for research into better energy efficiency?

That's a good question. From where I sit, there are several ways. There's the people who get money for making speeches promoting it, there's people writing books proclaiming Doom And Gloom if we don't Do Something and there are people sponging off of grants by running "studies" designed not to find out what's happening but to "prove" that AGW is TRUE. And, of course, there are the grifters selling carbon credits and running other money making schemes predicated on the claim that AGW is a fact. One obvious example is Al Gore. How much of his income over the last several years has come from promoting AGW?

I won't say that everybody involved is just in it for the money; I'm sure there are a number of True Believers out there, but I do think that the main motive behind all the frenzy has been money.

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (1)

hattig (47930) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751153)

I like how you've picked a single datapoint to compare against.

Has it not risen since 1898? 1948? Why 1998? Oh, wait, is it because that was a very hot year, an outlier?

Well, as long as you personally pay for the costs incurred when/if global warming's effects come about, it's all fine. Better start saving now - $100b a year should do it.

Re:The article presumes manmade global warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751283)

Go jump off a cliff. I'm sick of global warming idiots.

shiny clouds in the night? (2, Funny)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750791)

I blame gays.

Re:shiny clouds in the night? (1)

confusedneutrino (732640) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751245)

Stuart, I like you. You're not like the other people, here in the trailer park.

Space Shuttle? (3, Insightful)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750805)

Aren't they caused by the space shuttle? I could swear there was an article a couple weeks ago on slashdot about it. Basically they found that they tend to form hours after the shuttle launch, particularly around Antarctica. The shuttle's boosters release X tons of water into the high atmosphere, at altitudes water can't regularly attain, which gets caught by high moving winds that drive it south, where they crystallize.

Interestingly enough we just had a shuttle launch just a couple days ago.

Re:Space Shuttle? (4, Funny)

dilvish_the_damned (167205) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750965)

Further proving there were secret shuttle launches in 1885

Re:Space Shuttle? (1)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751037)

Well, duh. How else were they supposed to get Marty back to the future?

Re:Space Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751077)

It's not the boosters, it's the space shuttle's three main LOX/LH2 engines (liquid hydrogen plus liquid oxygen plus heat equals water).

And NASA issued an article on this very topic: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2003/0522shuttleshine.html

Re:Space Shuttle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751233)

Wait, for that to be accurate, the shuttles, First, would have to be launched at/near the north/south poles, Second, the shuttle launches would have to have begun in 1885...

Re:Space Shuttle? (2, Interesting)

DoraLives (622001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751479)

Space Shuttle don't cause 'em, but it creates them. (how's that for logic?) Here's some pictures of the Shuttle's vapor trail in the high atmosphere, noctilucent. Pretty cool looking, eh? http://www.flickr.com/photos/35423990@N00/sets/72157600329483616/ [flickr.com]

Disaster Movie Plot (1)

non-registered (639880) | more than 4 years ago | (#28750833)

The clouds are caused by water condensing on space dust which has suddenly increased because it's the harbinger of the huge mountain of an asteroid that's aimed at us. Send royalties to... oh, right. I'll never get to spend it, even if I saw any.

Re:Disaster Movie Plot (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751683)

In fact, probably a disaster movie already used those clouds, or at least things of that zone. In The day after tomorrow, the only way to give some "action" to the movie was to invent some kind of new storm that move down to land levels air from that zone. Probably we are seeing the opposite effect, something that pushes air from down here up there.

Actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750847)

Looks more like someone causing image-based words or letters to form in our upper atmosphere.

Now what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28750891)

First they told me to fear the AIDS.
Then they told be to fear the hole in the ozone.
Now I have to fear the clouds?

Noctilucent clouds, Space Shuttle, and Tunguska (2, Interesting)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751031)

Try my journal entry [slashdot.org] which connects noctilucent clouds to Space Shuttle launches and the Tunguska explosion.

Perfect example of fooled by randomness (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 4 years ago | (#28751093)

Oh clouds show up... Climate change is the answer... Do we know? NO! But since climate change is happening it must be the reason... YEAH WHATEVER!!! This is an example of fooled by randomness. Might it be climate change? Sure, and then again it might not be. How about we get more facts...

Degrees Kelvin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28751249)

"20 degrees Kelvin" - FTFA

climate change and solar wind (3, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28751313)

One of the theories behind the correlation between the sunspot cycle and climate change is that the solar wind tends to deflect cosmic rays from the inner system, and that when sunspots are rare, the solar wind isn't as strong, which allows more cosmic rays to strike the upper atmosphere, generating clouds which deflect sunlight from the Earth. Since up until very recently there's been a sunspot drought, this might indicate a cause.

it sucks i am right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28751381)

in north-America it's going to get a whole lot colder over the next 10 to 20 years. the new north pole (North-America). time to move away from that hell-hole!

I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28751395)

their clever cloud-disguised warships...
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